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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 25, 2009
1 min read

‘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.


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