Thursday, July 17, 2014

"I, too, sing America" by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was one of the last of the great poets from the Harlem renaissance. His work influenced all who came after; including the great Maya Angelou, recently deceased. He was born in 1902, in the middle of the Jim Crow Era; and he passed away in 1967 at the height of the Civil Rights struggle.

In this 21st Century we are engaged in a new struggle; one for economic equity. In this struggle there are no colors; just bank balances. I have been struck by how appropriate the literature of the Civil Rights Era applies to this new set of circumstances.

For instance; in this poem, when you think of the “darker brother” think of the common working man. He does all the work for the least amount of money. He’s weary of being cast aside; told he doesn’t count. Remember the disdain which Mitt Romney showed for the average American. He even said it, we “don’t count.”

This poem is for all people everywhere who get the short end of the stick, while working towards a better tomorrow.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment