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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem I, Too, Sing America

66 Comments

  1. Todd says:

    I WAS LIKE WOW THIS IS LIKE THE BEST POEM LIKE EVERR!!.

  2. Howie Hawk says:

    this poem reflects a general attitude for change. langston hughes effectively foreshadows the civil rights movement.

  3. Lisa Standlee says:

    I can relate to the poem because I lived with my aunt for 7 years and was severely mistreated. I wasn’t considered part of the family, but rather, a slave.

  4. E Roberts says:

    my 7th grade teach, a white lady, made our memorized this poem. I’s almost 30 years later i still remember this poem and love it. i am from the United States Virgin Island

  5. Demnd Dunham says:

    this poem is very interesting because i understand what the character mean when he is tired of not being seen when company is there. I would want people to see my beautiful face and nice skin even though its a different color. this poem is very touching so i hope a lot of people read this i recomend

  6. jason says:

    this poem is truly meaningfull and with lots of thoughts i really like it.

  7. Bob says:

    i love this poem…it speaks to my heart….i start my day everyday by reading this poem..

  8. traci says:

    this poem speaks loud and clear my children have preformed this in black history programs and will contine to do so.

  9. Dominique says:

    hey Langston Hughes u write good poems and books this poem is a good poet

  10. Jazmine says:

    this poem is wonderful and I think it speaks for it self..we all are EQUAL no matter what..it;s not just the white man who is AMERICAN Im american you American and we all are …I Too am American.

  11. Tim says:

    I like this poem alot because it says that african-american people are equal no matter what other people think of us

  12. Paola & Andrew says:

    i sing america too.

  13. Nena says:

    Although i’m not african american, I’m hispanic i think he did it because he wanted equality for everyone. and he was trying to say everyone is equal and we have the same rights

  14. Julyanaha says:

    For the first time african americans are coming out and saying we are proud of who we are. And you may look down at us today but tomorrow we may be equal and you won’t be ashamed of me.

  15. kim says:

    The poem can be compared to Claude McKays “America”. In it Claude speaks of his love/hate relationship with America. However , Claude does not cower to the kitchen and wait for a day to be accepted. He confronts her head on. ” Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, And sinks into my throat her tigers tooth, stealing my breath of life, I will confess I love this cultured hell that tests my youth…” Claude seems to become energized in his quest for racial equality in a racist america. He too sings america. Check out “If we must die” by McKay

  16. Ryan D. says:

    I think that the last line- “I, too, am America” is a reference to America’s struggle with the Bristish empire in the mid 1700’s. Langston is relating his struggles with the history of the country, when America was told to “be quiet” by the world.

  17. bryan says:

    Why has no one mentioned the obvious connection to Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing?” Hughes was responding to Whitman’s poem, as well as concurrently creating a poem entirely different. “I, too,” shows empathy.

  18. Just lil ol me says:

    I,Too . . relates to the aspect of the period of the Harlem Renaissance. This movement of African American artists and writers would aid efforts for civil rights. When Langston Hughes wrote I,Too he transformed African American Identy and history. Before the Harlem Renaissance few whites knew how African Americans felt. I, too , sing American really opened up peoples eyes. People could see for the first time in writing that African Americans were smart intellectuals.

  19. Me says:

    This is trully an amazing poem that says so much by stating so little. I admire people who tell it like it is and arent afraid to show the true colors of America.

  20. Katrina says:

    As I watched the devastating effects of Hurricaine Katrina and listened to the “finger pointing” statements of the United States leadership , my thoughts focused on this poem: ” I, Too, Sing America” regardless of socio economic status , “I, Too, Sing America” , regardless of my political orientation, “I Too, Sing America”; although our financial contributions are minor compared to the needs of the citizens of New Orleans, Alabama and Mississippi, “We Too, Sing America”.

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