Langston Hughes Poetry Allusions

Topics: ArtMusicians

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Last updated: December 10, 2019

John Brown (s)
White abolitionist who used violence to fight slavery; Organized guerillas that were used to influence towns to abolish slavery through violence. He attempted to begin a war on slavery in Virginia, but was caught and convicted of treason. Before hearing the court verdict he stated, “..

.Now, if it be deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood…with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded.”

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That Mad Mob/ That Tore the Bastille Down (ee)
French revolutionaries responsible for destroying the state prison;The Bastille represented royal sovereignty over France, but in July 1789 mobs of Parisians surrounded the Bastille demanding the resale of the prisoners. After this request was refused, the mob stormed the prison, only found 7 prisoners and soon following the Bastille was torn down.

Moses (ii)
Religious leader, lawgiver, and prophet who appears in the Bible, the Qu’ran and the TorahMoses was directed by God to take his people out of Egypt. He peacefully requested the release o his people, but when the request was refused, 10 plagues followed. Moses and his people were then released, parted the Red Sea and destroyed the militia that followed him.

Jeanne d’Arc (t)
Burned at the stake for heresy after claiming divine intervention led to victories in Hundred Years War.Born a peasant girl in Eastern France (hence the name), she led the French army to several victories during the Hundred Years War. She claimed that Divine intervention allowed her to be victorious. Her allegations caused her to be put on trial and she was sentenced to burning at the stake on charges of “insubordination and heterodoxy.

” Insubordination: Willfully disobeying an authority figure ; Heterodoxy: Holding unorthodox opinions or doctrines; Believing in a doctrine that is contrary to an acknowledged standard or traditional form. (By these laws, most of use would have been burned at the stake.)

Dessalines (Jean-Jacques Dessalines/ Jacques I of Haiti) (aa)
Leader of the Haitian Revolution and first ruler of independent Haiti.Dessalines originally served in the French army when the colony fought to hold the Spanish and British. Ironically he later became a commander in the revolt against France.

One can relate this soldiers of Arabic decent who are trained by the United States in hopes of creating a stable army. At times these U.S. trained soldiers turn on their trainers.

Nat Turner (a)
– Slave who was hanged for leading a rebellion in Virginia.

The revolt led by Nat Turner caused the most fatalities in one uprising prior to the Civil War.

Vladimir Lenin (y)
– Responsible for the Russian Revolution and institution of Communism.The leader of the Bolsheviks he was one of the greatest contributors that lead to the October Revolution in 1917 that resulted in the overthrow of the current Russian government (Russian Provisional Government). Lenin influenced the signing of the peace treaty with Germany that caused Russia to exit WWI early. Lenin was a charismatic and persuasive orator, similar to Hitler, and familiar with the works of Carl Marx.

Ghandi (n)
– Promoted in South Africa and India.Influenced many of the ideals Martin Luther King Jr. believed.

Sandino (Augustus Cesar Sandino) (z)
– Nicaraguan Revolutionary.Leader of a Nicaraguan rebellion between 1927-1933 against U.S. Military as a resistance of U.S. occupation. Sandino was assassinated in 1934 by National Guard.

Evangelista (Edilverto Evangelista) (dd)
– Philippino RevolutionaryEvangelista was quite educated. He received a Bachelor of Arts, and finished Civil Engineering and Architecture. He had many opportunities to work for European institutions, but declined the offers because of his passion to work for his country. He became a general and built forts/ barricades during the Philippine Revolution.

Marva Trotter (u)
Wife of Joe Louis

Joe Louis (cc)
– The “Brown Bomber,” a African-American heavyweight boxer who was champion from 1937-1949He established a reputation as an honest and hardworking fighter at a time where gambling fueled the flames of the Boxing World. Louis’ impact stretched beyond the ring for outside of the ring he was revered as a hero.

The Pied Piper (Pied Piper of Hamlin) (c)
– A rat-catcher who stole the town’s children after the mayor didn’t pay him.A pedophile-like man whose musical skills caused children to follow him out of town, never to return.

The Pied Piper may represent the disappearance of the children of Hamlin that was caused by plague of catastrophe.

Robin Hood (c)
– Heroic outlaw of English folklore; parodied in ShrekAs most know, he took from the rich and gave to the poor. The story of Robin Hood is thought to have stemmed from actual outlaws.

The Fairy Queen (x)
– A figure from English folklore who is said to rule the fairiesThis figure was originally Queen Mab, a fairy who visited in dreams.

King Arthur (q)
– A legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries.According to medieval histories, King Arthur led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th Century. Many of the details of Arthur’s rule are thought to have been fabricated or the result of story telling.

Dreyfus to cry, ” J’Accuse!” (k)
– French officer of Jewish decent falsely accused of passing secrets to Germans.

For more details, request additional information from Ehnes. Historical significance will certainly strengthen the importance of this allusion.

Lemon (Blind Lemon Jefferson) (p)
– Celebrated blues musician born blind in TexasLemon did not influence young blues singers of his time because of the complexity of his guitar playing, but this complexity attracted Rock and Roll musicians later on.

Robespierre to Scream, “Ca ira! Ca ira! Ca ira!” (Maximilien de Robespierre) (b)
– Leader of the French Revolution and instigator of the Reign of Terror.Robespierre advocated for the abolition of slavery and was against the death penalty. He was also for equal rights, “universal suffrage” and the establishment of a republic.

Patrice (Lumumba) (bb)
– First prime minister of newly independent CongoHelped Congo achieve independence from Belgium.

The new government was quickly demolished and Patrice was imprisoned then executed by firing squad by Belgium and the United States.

Lafayette (v)
– A French aristocrat and military officer, who served as a general in the Revolutionary War.Lafayette was an incredibly successful general under George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

Denmark Vesey (e)
– Freedman in S.C. Accused of planning a slave revolt.Vesey was one of the most famous rebellion leaders. An African-Caribbean who bought his freedom, he organized what would have been the largest slave rebellion in the United States, but his plan was leaked in Charleston, SC and he was arrested, tried, convicted and executed.

Cinque (Joseph Cinque) (hh)
– Led a successful mutiny on a Spanish slave ship; freed through American court; returned to Africa to become involved in the slave trade.

The U.S. Supreme court heard the case and ruled that the Africans mutinied because they had been kidnapped and sold illegally.

Trotsky (w)
– Most important Russian revolutionary after Lenin; Exiled by Stalin.

Uncle Tom (o)
– The eponymous of character Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel; used to refer to a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures.

Abraham Lincoln (h)
– American president responsible for emancipation.

Grant (d)
– Union Civil War general responsible for the end of the war.

Federick Douglass (l)
– An escaped slave who became a prominent leader of the abolitionist movement.Though the support for the “Equal Rights Party” was small, Douglass was the first African-American nominated to be Vice-President along side presidential candidate, Victoria Woodhull. For an escaped slave, his oratory and writing skills were great.

William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ward Beecher, James Russel Lowell (r)
– Northern Abolitionists.

Harriet Tubman (f)
– An escaped slave who returned to rescue other slaves.

Sojourner Truth (gg)
– An escaped slave who became leader of the abolitionist and women’s rights movement.She was successful in recovering her son through a court case. She was the first woman to win such a case against a white man.

Marcus Garvey (g)
– Advocated for the “Back to Africa” Movement.Known for his philosophy of Garvey-ism, where African-Americans should return to Africa and learn about their culture. His idea was that he did not want African-Americans to lose knowledge of their roots.

Sufi Abdul Hamid (kk)
– Cult leader who used boycotts to force Harlem stores to hire blacks.Originally not a Muslim, Sufi Abdul Hamid (born Eugene Brown) was an anti-Semite who wished to draw attention to discriminatory employment practices of both Whites and Jews.

Dubois (jj)
– Co-founder of the NAACP

Malcolm (ff)
– Muslim minister and human rights activist.

Many accuse Malcolm of preaching racism, black supremacy and violence, but nonetheless he has been called one of the most influential African Americans in history.

Stokely (Carmichael) (j)
– Advocated “Black Power” through the Black Panther Party.Stokley was a prominent participant of the Black Power movements.

He was a leader for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later became an Honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party. He was eventually expelled from the Black Panther Party.

Adam Powell (m)
– Politician who represented Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives for eleven terms;unseated for ethical violations.

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