I, Too, Sing America

My brother sent along this Langston Hughes poem. “Tomorrow” took a while and for that I feel ashamed. I hope we’ll work hard to make sure everyone feels welcome at the table…

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.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

Langston Hughes (1902-1967), is particularly known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. Hughes left a large body of poetic work, as well as eleven plays and countless works of prose, including the well-known “Simple” books: Simple Speaks His Mind, Simple Stakes a Claim,Simple Takes a Wife, and Simple’s Uncle Sam. He edited the anthologies The Poetry of the Negro and The Book of Negro Folklore, wrote an acclaimed autobiography (The Big Sea) and co-wrote the play Mule Bone with Zora Neale Hurston.

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