This title might refer to narrator receiving an assignment, specifically for the English class.
Hughes is given an english assignment which requires him to write his truth but he takes it too literal. He then describes the basics of his life and questions his appearance. Also compares and contrasts the difference between himself and white people.
The quote is significant because it shows that he has the same interests as other races despite his skin color but he doesn't know if his page that he is writing on will be colored.
The poem's subject is about the truth and Hughes tone towards the subject can be an earnest tone as he talks openly about it.
There is no shift, his tone towards the subject stays the same.
The message of this poem is to speak you truth as well as not letting your race or color stop you from being who you really are.