In “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Hughes describes rivers as “dusky” to call attention to their ____.
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Dusky has several meanings Hughes could have been addressing. It literally means dark in color, but the word has connotations about things that are obscure or hidden from obvious sight. While I'm not sure of his intent, I think Hughes is probably trying to suggest both a connection to the colored people that were found near the rivers he references and to draw a connection between the deep and hidden, somewhat mysterious, past of rivers and "the Negro."