"I, Too" and Langston Hughes

Okay, so I’m struggling this month to write anything good.  Don’t judge me haha!  To try to keep my inspiration flowing, I’ve been reading some of the work of my favorite poets.  Langston Hughes, of course, led the Harlem Renaissance with his startling forwardness and thunderous tone.  In 1925, he wrote “I, Too” which was recited by Denzel Washington in his directorial debut The Great Debaters (2007), another favorite movie of mine.  I had heard the poem prior to it being used in the film, but it never resonated with me the way it did after Mr. Tolson recited it.

I’m going to share both with you today, mostly because they move me.  I hope you are moved the same way.

I, Too

By Langston Hughes 1902–1967
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.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.
Source: The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Books, 2004).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s