I, Too, Sing America Analysis

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Michael Morgan AP English Literature and Composition: Poetry Response10/7/12 In “I, Too, Sing America” Langston Hughes shines light on the rich history of struggle for African Americans in the United States. For example, the text states “I am the darker brother, They send me to eat in the kitchen/ When company comes.” This shows that as a people, Blacks were marginalized and treated inhumanely simply on the basis of skin color by their Caucasian counterparts. We were sent to this figurative “kitchen” because Whites were ashamed of us because we did not fit the societal expectations of what it meant to be American. In the Declaration of Independence, the very document that is symbolic of America’s freedom and triumph it states, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Regardless of origin, race, or ethnic makeup, As Americans we are all equals under this text; however, they regarded the existence of Blacks as if we were all children of a lesser God. The opening lines also illustrate the oppressive nature of white folks. Blacks were forced to eat in the kitchen; there was no option, nor alternative. This shows how we were trained to be subservient and give in to authority without questioning it. Langston Hughes highlights the resilience of Black folk and our ability to remain resolute in times of utter despair. For example, he writes that in the end he will eat, laugh and grow strong. With the diction “grow strong,” Hughes is foreshadowing that a day will come when the Africans living in America who have been shunned and ostracized from society will stand up in unity and reveal their power to those who have trespassed against them. For centuries we have been mistreated, downtrodden, and dispossessed, but a time will arise where we must all stand together in solidarity to overthrow those who have held us in captivity. This reminds the reader of the antebellum south, where whenever Master had...
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