Sunday, February 01, 2015

I, Too, Sing America

Early in the day, I surfed over to the Google page to do a search, and was stumped by the doodle there:

source

I clicked to animate the doodle, which turned out to be a homage to the African-American jazz poet and social activist, Langston Hughes.  And was fascinated by the poem there, I Dream a World.

Naturally, I tweeted that!
So, of course, I then spent some time reading a couple of Hughes' poems.  But, I decided that of the poems of his that I have read, my favorite continues to be the one that I blogged about more than four years ago: "I, too, sing America"
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.

That's some poem!  A neat way to begin Black History Month, right?


3 comments:

Anne in Salem said...

Ah - Paul Robeson. No one did it better.

I believe Langston Hughes is generally passed over in school today, except perhaps for a brief mention of the Harlem Renaissance. Pity. Given his vision predated King's dream by some 40 years, you'd think he'd garner more attention.

Ramesh said...

I know absolutely nothing about Langston Hughes. I'll save this post and then look at him in leisure when I'm back home.

Sriram Khé said...

Schools pass on lots of things these days. I am always shocked to find out that most students have never, ever heard of books or authors that I might mention in discussions ... Or even music and films. What is classic and important, in terms of helping us understand the human condition, is not what is considered important anymore it seems ... :(

Yes, Robeson was awesome. A shame though that the US government and society treated him so horribly just because of his political beliefs that were radical left and, thus erased him from our collective memories.

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