Sour Grapes Post Election 2012

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Poem By Langston Hughes

I, Too, Sing America

I, too, sing America
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow - I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen" then.
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed-
I too, am America.

'I, Too' written just before Hughes’ return to the States from Europe and after he'd been denied passage on a ship because of his color, has a contemporary feel in contrast to the mythical dimension of 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers'.

It is no less powerful however, in its expression of social injustice. The calm clear statements of the 'I' have an unstoppable force like the progress the poem envisages.

Hughes's dignified introductions to these poems and his beautiful speaking voice render them all the more moving.

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