Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday's Poetry: "I, Too, Sing America"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Today is "Juneteenth," the oldest known holiday to celebrate the emancipation of America's slaves.  It is a commemoration of June 19th, 1865, the date on which Union soldiers landed at Galveston and brought news that the Civil War was over and the slaves were henceforth free people.

To honor the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth, I have selected the poem, "I, Too, Sing America," by Joplin, Missouri, native and world-renowned poet, Langston Hughes.  The works of Mr. Hughes, a formidable American literary force, have appeared in this space on numerous occasions.   Langston Hughes' keen eye and lyrical inner-voice captured the desperation and hopes of the children and grandchildren of slaves as they sought to survive and thrive in a quickly developing modern culture.  He distills the very essence of the black experience in twentieth century America.

I, Too, Sing America
by Langston Hughes

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: