An Open Letter to the South

According to the Langston’ Hughes An Open Letter to the South, the parties to blame for ‘’lies of color’’ are white and black workers. In his view, both are equal and work under similar circumstances. As such, separation in terms of color only divides them instead of bringing them together. His premise stems from the fact that despite the differences that they have in color, they still are one. However, the unity of both races will depend on the effort that the white workers are willing to put. Hughes presents this from the point of a need for reconciliation between blacks and whites and says that they are not to blame. The black workers are victims of circumstances and segregation, so are the white workers. As such, it is not their fault that they are in that position but the fault of the rich people who are benefiting from the separation.

Booker T. stands for the cultural division because he believes that it is a way of enriching society. In Hughes’s time, the black people were going through the most challenges due to segregation, which did more harm than gain to black people. For that reason, Hughes urges society to come together because he believes that together they can achieve so much more. According to Hughes, the differences in culture are not enough reason for people to divide across racial lines. He equates t society to the fingers where the hand is not functional if one of the fingers is missing. Hughes persuades the people to abandon the lies of color that keep the rich occupied in high positions of power citing that separation of society is a social stratification that is only beneficial to the wealthy.

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In his argument, Hughes claims that unity is the driver of society. According to him, an agreement is more workable as opposed to separation. A divided society only helps the few who are in power, leaving the majority at the bottom struggling. Therefore, a co-operative society will help dissolve racial differences and promote people working together. He asserts that race is a façade and outdated. His audience is the American society separated along racial lines-black and white people. His evidence is the fact that rich people are not feeling the challenges of the workers, yet both white and black workers continue to struggle. According to his text, Hughes has made the right argument.

By the line, ‘’we did not know we are brothers, now we know’’ reveals the fact that the capitalist economy has grouped people according to social class. There are both white and black workers working in the same field. Initially, the black people were slaves and did not work with the whites. Therefore, working together sheds light on the fact that they are the same person. 

Hughes’s argument that solidarity is better than separation was not the case in 1932 because the society was heavily divided then. However, his argument is valid in present-day society. People have achieved so much without segregation. The community is rewarding people based on their merits. While racial prejudice is still present, one community has integrated every race into the social system. Due to this development, discrimination is now against the law as it urges people to respect each other.

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