chapter  1
30 Pages

Introduction: Composing Social Identity

The student-writer in the Hughes poem is justifiably perplexed by the complexity of defining identity C"It's not easy to know what is true for you or me ... "). He recognizes that part of his identity arises from ethnic group membership ("Harlem, I hear you"). And he recognizes that affiliating with a social group implies otherness, implies a boundary that in this case separates the sensibilities of "coloreds" from "whites."