Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research

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Maternal Love, Social and Political Activism as Vehicles of Self Assertion in the Poetry of Langston Hughes

Ene Edem Ekpo


This paper investigates the place of maternal love in the formation of the African American self and how that self has evolved from the subservient racial hegemonic American society. It is an interrogation of the role of the African American woman in Afro futuristic dream of equality and the assertion of a distinct African American self with all its uniqueness. The essay also interrogates the socio political impulses in the poetry of Langston Hughes and how these impulses contribute to the assertion of the black American distinct self in the American society. Langston Hughes’ poetry carries feminist impulses that are interpreted to be the basis for the African American communal society. The significance of this paper lies in the fact that it will unravel how the African American woman’s love for her children serves as a catalyst for the socio political activism of the entire black race and how this ultimately lead to the assertion of the black self. The paper adopts a psychoanalytical and feminist position as theoretical frameworks in the analysis of the selected poems of the poet. The strand of feminism adopted here is motherism. Through qualitative research methodology, the paper submits that the role of maternal love cannot be ruled out in the socio political activism that will bring to reality the afrofuturistic dream of the entire black race in American society.

Key words: Maternal love, Racial hegemony, Socio-political activism, Afrofuturism, Self assertion.

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