Compare & contrast Paul Laurence Dunbar?s poem ?We Wear the Mask? to Langston Hughes?s poem ?The Negro Speaks ofRivers? (links on ANGEL).What does Dunbar mean by the mask in relation to African-Americans and slavery? Keep in mind that this poem waspublished in 1896, so the aftermath and devastation of slavery was still fresh in the minds of theAfrican-American community and writers like Dunbar. What does the mask symbolize? How might Hughes, who waswriting 25 years later, have been influenced by a poem like Dunbar?s? What role does Dunbar?s ?mask? play in thehistory of the African-American community that Hughes describes? How does Hughes?s speaker function as acollective voice of the entire African-American community?
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