The speaker’s tone in “Harlem” carries a strong hint of frustration. A lot of negative words and phrases are present to depict the frustration in the poem. One would come across words and phrases like “fester” and “stink like rotten meat.” The frustration stems from the fact that African –Americans were living in poverty. They were oppressed and deprived of basic human rights. He was frustrated because the citizens of Harlem were not allowed to fulfill their dreams.