How does the information below add to your understanding of the story "Thank You, M'am"?Langston Hughes lived in Harlem, New York, for most of his adult life. During the early 20th century, as life...
How does the information below add to your understanding of the story "Thank You, M'am"?
Langston Hughes lived in Harlem, New York, for most of his adult life. During the early 20th century, as life became more difficult for African-Americans in the north, including New York city, they settled in Harlem, along with immigrants from the West Indies and Africa. The mix of cultures and a new sense of black unity produced a burst of creativity,which became known as the Harlem Renaissance. During the 1920s and 1930s, Harlem became a center for African-American artists, writers and musicians. The common theme of their works was the experience of African-American society. Hughes was one of the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance movement. He wrote about ordinary African-Americans, people of dignity and generosity, struggling to survive and make ends meet while facing racism and poverty.
The paragraph you have provided gives us valuable background information in terms of trying to understand the reason of Hughes for writing this excellent short story. Note the way in which the dignity that he attempted to give African-Americans who struggled with poverty and want is shown through the character of Mrs. Jones, who, in spite of Roger's attempted robbery, takes him in, treats him like her own son and ends up giving him money for his pair of blue suede shoes, that he had been trying to get through robbery. Let us also focus on the setting of this excellent story. It is very gritty, down-to-earth and real in its exploration of the factors (that are never fully explained) that led Roger to be out by himself so late and to be so hungry and the kind of situations that characters like Roger and Mrs. Jones have to face on a day-by-day basis. This story therefore represents a celebration of the dignity of African-Americans.