25 September

On 25 September 1924, the black poet Langston Hughes sent a letter to his friend and mentor, Howard University professor Alain Locke, from Genoa, in Italy.
September 2009

'I've done a couple of new poems,' he wrote. 'I have no more paper, so I'm sending you one on the back of this letter.' The poem, published two years later, was to become a classic.


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.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
'Eat in the kitchen'
Then.
Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am


And be ashamed -
I, too, am America.






Comments are now closed on this article.






Red Pepper · 44-48 Shepherdess Walk, London N1 7JP · +44 (0)20 7324 5068 · office[at]redpepper.org.uk
Advertise · Press · Donate
For subscriptions enquiries please email subs@redpepper.org.uk