Online Texts for Craig White's Literature Courses

  • Not a critical or scholarly text but a reading text for a seminar

Langston Hughes


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.

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.

cf Walt Whitman, Song of Myself (1855+)

line 1: "I celebrate myself, and sing myself . . . "


Whitman widely recognized as "greatest American poet"--Hughes as "the Whitman of African America"

cf. Frederick Douglass as "the Lincoln of African America"