The poem "Cross," by Langston Hughes was written in the 1920's when the Caucasians and African American's were segregated. In the poem the speaker is both white and black. This leaves him being frustrated about which race he can identify himself with. He knows that he cannot blame his parents for being who he is. In the poem the title "Cross" holds numerous meanings about the speaker's hybrid ethnic tradition.
To begin with, one meaning of the title "Cross" is the crossroads between being white or black. A crossroad is a place where a person has to choose a path to go either way. The speaker is standing on the crossroad to choose between the white conversely the black side. The speaker has to choose a path to go because he need to know which world he will die in "His father was old man / and his old mother was black" (Hughes). This poem implies that his father was slave owner and his mother was a slave. The speaker is unsure of his identity. This leads him being angry with his parents.
Another meaning of the title "Cross" is angry. According to Hughes "My old man's a white old man / and my old mother's black. If I ever I cursed my white old man/ I take my curses back. If I ever cursed my black old mother / and wishes she were in hell." Hughes was angry with his mother and father because of him being mixed. At that time there was predominate between being white and black and he did not know where he fit in. For example, he could have been angry because throughout the 1920's there was segregation. He probably did not know where exactly to sit on the bus or which water fountain to use. Other people's reactions of him being mixed provoked him to become angry. Addition thought could be that since his dad was white he lived in a big house and his mother lived in a shack (Hughes). This could mean his father probably raped his mother. The father was a slave owner and his mother was a slave. The white slave owners frequently took...
In July 1897, Du Bois left Philadelphia and took a professorship in history and economics at the historically black Atlanta University in Georgia.  His first major academic work was his book The Philadelphia Negro (1899), a detailed and comprehensive sociological study of the African-American people of Philadelphia, based on the field work he did in 1896–1897. The work was a breakthrough in scholarship, because it was the first scientific study of African Americans and a major contribution to early scientific sociology in the .   In the study, Du Bois coined the phrase "the submerged tenth" to describe the black underclass. Later in 1903 he popularized the term, the " Talented Tenth ", applied to society's elite class.  Du Bois's terminology reflected his opinion that the elite of a nation, both black and white, was critical to achievements in culture and progress.  Du Bois wrote in this period in a dismissive way of the underclass, describing them as "lazy" or "unreliable", but – in contrast to other scholars – he attributed many of their societal problems to the ravages of slavery.