I, Too Langston Hughes

Topics: Racism, Black people, African American Pages: 2 (561 words) Published: March 17, 2012
Langston Hughes’s poem I, Too, Sing America, is a poetic criticism of racial discrimination in American society during the post- slavery era. When Langston Hughes wrote the poem "I, Too", African Americans were not accepted. Blacks were discriminated against, killed violently, separated from using the same facilities and being in the same place as whites, just to name a few. The division between whites and blacks was clearly prevalent, with whites faring on the better side of the spectrum. Essentially, the United States of America was a racially discriminatory society reinforced by its racist laws.

Therefore, Langston Hughes took the initiative to speak his mind via poetry, and this piece shows that.

The first line of the poem, "I, too, sing America," clearly signifies one thing: Just because his skin color is different from whites, he argues that he also sings the National Anthem/Star Spangle Banner the same as whites do. More important, the voice of the poem, the servant, argues that he too is American.

The poem shows blunt disrespect from the master to his servant by sending him away every time visitors come, because he is ordered to eat in the kitchen - secluded from company. However, it does not faze him one bit, for he finds it very funny, supported by line 5: "But I laugh."

Furthermore, while secluded in the kitchen, he eats well. Not only does he find amusement and eat well in his unpleasant situation, but the isolation also has a positive effect on him because he becomes stronger, verified by line 7: "And grow strong." This line shows that even though the servant pains in submission, he will not let it kill his spirit.

The heart of the poem demonstrates the strength of a black slave who stands up for what is right and says enough is enough:

Tomorrow, I'll sit at the table When company comes. Nobody'll dare Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen," Then. [Lines 8-14]

This statement by the slave typifies the true definition of bravery. Yes, his...
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