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By Langston Hughes

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, "I, Too" from The Collected Works of Langston Hughes. Copyright © 2002 by Langston Hughes. Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates, Inc.

  • Mythology & Folklore
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes is the poet laureate of African-American experience — a popular writer of the Harlem Renaissance who gave hopeful expression to the aspirations of the oppressed, even as he decried racism and injustice. In addition to poetry, he published fiction, drama, autobiography, and translations. His work continues to serve as a model of wide empathy and social commitment.

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