I Am America, Too
The poem I, Too is a reflection of the nature of American society during the time it was written by Langston Hughes. It does not only speak for the feelings and insights of the writer himself but also to all people subjected to discrimination, especially the “black” people, who were the I in the poem. “They send me to eat in the kitchen, when company comes…” speaks of the inconsiderate treatment to black people being sent away every time they got near or in close contact with them.
“But I laugh, and eat well, and grow strong…” shows the writer’s positive thought on being discriminated – getting enough courage and resources to be stronger, and finally be recognized as part of America.
The visions of Hughes on a bright future for the black people in America and be at the table when company comes came true with the emergence of Condoleeza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington, Beyoncé Knowles, Williams sisters, among others. They already made themselves big in every aspect of American life. The Americans have finally recognized how beautiful the black people are and nobody could just tell them to “eat in the kitchen” because they, too, are Americans.
Hughes, L. 2006. I, Too. In Concise Anthology of American Literature. G McMichael & JS Leonard. 6th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. 1086.