- Slides: 17
I, TOO Langston Hughes – His Poetry and His Legacy
Langston Hughes • Hughes was a prominent figure during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920 s • His connection to Harlem in his writing earned him the title Poet Laureate of Harlem • He was known for the use of jazz and black folk rhythms in his poetry, which depicted the experiences of the urban African American
Literary Works • Hughes wrote more than 60 books. • He wrote in many genres: poetry, fiction, autobiographies, and children’s books
Distinguished Works • Hughes’ first published was also one of his most famous, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers • In 1924, Langston Hughes wrote his first book of poetry entitled The Weary Blues. • In 1930, he wrote his first novel, entitled Not Without Laughter, which won the Harmon gold medal for literature.
I, Too Sing America • In 1925, Hughes wrote a poem entitled I, Too, Sing America. • Through the use of vivid imagery, Hughes expressed his feelings toward racism
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.
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.
Poetry Analysis • I, Too is an anti-discrimination poem, which shows the injustices of racism • The poem is situated in America and describes a black man’s personal experience with racial discrimination • He is treated as if he is an embarassment to the white people, and made to feel inferior to them
Poetry Analysis • The tone changes throughout the poem • In the first line, the tone is patriotic. The line, “I, too, sing America, ” indicates the national anthem, and symbolizes unity throughout the nation • In the next stanza, the tone is of anger, strength, and determination. The man is enraged at how he is treated, but he knows is strong enough to fight back. This is evident in the line, “But I laugh/ and eat, / And grow strong
Poetry Analysis • The following stanza’s tone is of warning and caution. • The man warns the people that he will demand to be treated equal. • Overall, this poem shows Hughes’ ability to perservere, despite unequal conditions in America.
Poetry Analysis • Hughes reveals how America “covers up” her racial discrimination “problems”. • He also wants to convey the importance of racial equality • He wants the reader to understand that this is not just a personal experience, but a voice of his people.
Hughes’ Influence on the Civil Rights Movement • Something else • Wheee
Hughes’ Influence on the Civil Rights Movement
LANGSTON HUGHES: Poet Laureate of Harlem 1902 -1967