The Cullen’s “Harlem Wine” display these cultural

The Harlem Renaissance was a time where white men began to recognize and acknowledge the musical and artistic contributions blacks had to offer as Countée Cullen’s “Harlem Wine” display these cultural advancements as agents of change through the use of an extended metaphor and personification. As African Americans began to embrace their identities during this era of “cultural rebirth”, Cullen reveals how blacks overcame the difficulties and prejudice of discrimination and racism through the mediums of art and music. He describes the city of Harlem as a place where “thick rebellious streams of wine…flow on not caring how or where it has ways to flow upon.” In contrast to the rest of New York, seen as old and decrepit and simply as plain “water”, Harlem’s continual stream of black culture is unable to be stopped. In the past, African Americans’ traditions and normalities were seen not uniform to the rest of society and therefore needed to be limited. However in comparing its progress in contrast to a cheap, alcoholic beverage, such as beer, Cullen emphasizes the sophistication and distinction of African American styles and how their value has evolved into a larger component to society. Cullen also uses personification in giving “wine” human characteristics as these streams “hurtle flesh and bone past fear”. Personification is used to not only appeal and sympathize to the readers’ emotions but to also help the reader to understand the author’s viewpoint of the matter. Streams are free and flowing, but in attributing wine as “hurtling”, Cullen depicts a sense of aggressiveness in its pursuit to spread as much as possible. These uses of an extended metaphor and personification help the readers understand the gravity and powerful tone of the author’s message. Despite the hard work put in by the African Americans during their time as slaves or as sharecroppers, once they were emancipated, they were rewarded unfairly whereas white men were able to profit from African Americans’ efforts. Arna Bontemps’ “A Black Man Talks of Reaping” reveals that unworthwhile results can come to hardworking men beyond their control through a metaphor and hyperbole. As a farmer in his youth, Bontemps had toiled in the fields, experiencing the pain and injust racism from the white men, whom he refer to as “wind or fowl that would take grain away.” In describing the white men as enemies that are incompatible, Bontemps give the readers the sense that it was seemingly pointless to retaliate, revealing the despair African Americans felt to their current standards of living. No matter how hard they tried to plant their seeds and earn an honest living, white men would always have the upperhand and take advantage of their inferior position in society. Bontemps also uses hyperbole to emphasize the magnitude of how much African Americans worked as they “scattered seed enough to plan the land in rows from Canada to Mexico”. Like other figurative devices, hyperboles are used to express the author’s intentions and views of his message. It is unreasonable to literally plant from “Canada to Mexico” but this exaggeration grabs the attention of the audience to the matter at hand: African Americans work so much but get little profits. In Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die”, the author uses a metaphor and

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