“I Too” By Langston Hughes And “Dreams” By Nikki Giovanni

2007 WordsMar 1, 20179 Pages
“I too” by Langston Hughes and “Dreams” by Nikki Giovanni are poems concerning conformity and rebellion. I too was published in the 1926 volume of poetry by Langston Hughes. It is about an African American man, who is “either a slave, a free man in the Jim Crow South, or even a domestic servant”, that conforms to the ideas and traditions between black and white people. He does this, while quietly waiting for the day that he will not have to conform or “stay in the kitchen” anymore. Dreams is about a black girl who dreams to be famous singer when she is a child. However, as she grows older, and starts to understand the labels and roles black girls are put in in society at the time, she conforms to the idea of settling down and letting her…show more content…
The speaker in I, too does not conform without question, because he knows that to conform and “eat in the kitchen” (line13) is to live a lie. However he does not tell people or express out in the open that that is what he believes, he goes against the norm silently which is sometimes more powerful than doing it loudly. This is what African Americans and other minorities had to decide in a time when white people were perceived to better and more powerful in American society. I, too and Dreams are both poems that cover an issue that was happening for a very long time in America. The issue that African Americans and other minorities should conform to society’s unfair box that they have put African Americans in terms of what they could do and be with their lives, or they should not conform because they know that it is wrong. This way of conformity began with the slaves. The slave owners, who were white, were perceived to be better than the slaves, who were black. Slave owners were richer, and perceived to be smarter than the “unruly beasts” that were African slaves. This belief changed and evolved like any other belief. In more recent decades, after the Civil War, African Americans and other minorities were thought to be second class citizens compared to white people. African Americans could not do or be certain things, like famous singers, because it would be

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