Zora Neale HurstonCountee Cullen

Langston Hughes


I, Too, Sing America

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.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

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Product Description

11 x 17 Poster of poet Langston Hughes with words from “I Too”

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, Hughes was largely raised by his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas, after his parents separated. Mary Patterson Langston instilled in her grandson a sense of racial pride and a love for activism.

Hughes entered Columbia University and, at his father’s insistence, studied engineering instead of writing. Hughes ultimately didn’t earn a degree from Columbia – after just a year, he left the university, citing racial prejudice there – but while in New York he did learn something that would perhaps serve him even better – he discovered Harlem.

Though Columbia wasn’t right for Hughes, he did earn a bachelor’s degree. After spending several years in Europe, Hughes enrolled in the historically black Lincoln University, where he completed his education. Among his classmates was future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.

After college, Hughes returned to New York, where he would remain a resident of Harlem for most of his life. He became part of the vibrant community of black artists who drove the Harlem Renaissance – his contemporaries included Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Wallace Thurman, and more. –

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