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Harlem shadows, Claude McKay

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by

Roberto Barriga

on 11 February 2014

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Transcript of Harlem shadows, Claude McKay

Harlem shadows,
Claude McKay

design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Harlem Renaissance
Harlem shadow
Claude Mckay
McKay was born in Sunny Ville, Jamaica, on September 15, 1890. McKay moved to Harlem, New York, after publishing his first books of poetry, and established himself as a literary voice for social justice during the Harlem Renaissance. He is known for his novels, essays and poems, including "If We Must Die" and "Harlem Shadows." He died on May 22, 1948, in Chicago, Illinois.
The Harlem Renaissance was an expression of African-American culture that resulted from the Great Migration. Writers, artists, and musicians began to produce highly original works dealing with African- American life.

I hear the halting footsteps of a lass
In Negro Harlem when the night lets fall
Its veil. I see the shapes of girls who pass
To bend and barter at desire’s call.
Ah, little dark girls who in slippered feet
Go prowling through the night from street to street!

Through the long night until the silver break
Of day the little gray feet know no rest;
Through the lone night until the last snow-flake
Has dropped from heaven upon the earth’s white breast, The dusky, half-clad girls of tired feet
Are trudging, thinly shod, from street to street.
.


Ah, stern harsh world, that in the wretched way
Of poverty, dishonor and disgrace,
Has pushed the timid little feet of clay,
The sacred brown feet of my fallen race!
Ah, heart of me, the weary, weary feet
In Harlem wandering from street to street
Poetry Terms
Personification: Through the lone night until the last snow-flake has dropped from heaven upon the earth’s white breast.
Imagery: I see the shapes of girls who pass
To bend and barter at desire’s call.
Repetition: From street to street.
Theme
Harlem Shadows describes the issue of prostitution in Harlem among young African American girls. Claude McKay touches on the idea that there is not much out there for his race, and that it is of the world's doing that many young girls fall into prostitution, and the endless nights that come with the lifestyle.
By Roberto Barriga
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