Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

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  • 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.
  • The speaker in this poem is explaining that he has faith in his country. He feels the nationalism- or maybe the promise that we can grow and become one. In the line, "I am the darker brother," he is telling us that we are one. We live in the same country, we stand among each other, we live together. We're just aren't accepting it. Basically, we has faith that people will learn to see over race.
  • Nobody’ll dare Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,”
  • These lines are all metaphorical. There is no food, kitchen, or company. Really, there is the speaker, representing one African-American or all of them being sent away like they aren't a part of the "family." They are trying to be hidden from society because no one thought of them well. The author's use of the word "strong" and "laugh" makes a very horrible thing beneficial. The speaker doesn't let the negativity phase him. This sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as well.
  • Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed—
  • Like the last stanza, this has a deeper, symbolical meaning. The speaker is determined that one day racial equality will be in affect and his race won't be hidden from the rest of the world. He's sure that America is strong enough to stop hiding people just because of their skin color. These lines use imagery as well, as you can see an image of a boy finally being able to sit at a table instead of being looked upon as shameful.
  • I, too, am America.
  • The speaker is aware that they are a person that matters. They don't let the negativity of the people they live around let them take away from the fact that they are human. They are very bold and certain, and the author lets us know that when they use words like "dare," and put "Nobody'll dare" on its own line. 
  • The speaker knows that what is happening is wrong. But he knows everyone deserves to be treated better than fairly, but instead with love. The theme is very present here. It went from not getting treated as a human, (and growing from it,) to getting justice, and then people being ashamed for their actions. The theme is that you have to stick it out and persevere through the negativity, because in the end the wrong will make you want more right.
  • The poem closes full circle with the line listed above. In the beginning, he states that he supports America and knows it can get through this rough time. But at the end, he takes a bit more action. He knows he is a part of America. Take a fraction, like 1/2. Is the other half, in any way, greater? No, because each half contributes to one whole. No matter what, the speaker is and represents America, and you can't hide what makes up something.
  • I, Too
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