`` I Too, Sing America ' And Countee Cullen 's Incident

1542 WordsApr 3, 20177 Pages
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be looked at like you are inferior to others? Like you are less intelligent and less trustworthy? All because of the fact that the color of your skin is different than what is believed to be “normal?” During the 1920s and 1930s, this was a very common occurrence, whereas now it is an extremely rare happening. African Americans missed out on numerous opportunities because whites felt as if they should not have them. Because this was such a common event during the Jazz Age, it was often written about in literature pieces. Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too, Sing America” and Countee Cullen’s “Incident” display these limitations put on a specific race (African Americans), and show how the country has…show more content…
Langston Hughes’ “I, Too, Sing America” was published in 1945. This poem envisions a day in which both races will be equivalent and able to eat together at the same table. The poem starts off with Hughes saying “I, Too, sing America” (Hughes, 1945, line #). Langston 's use of the word “too” shows that he wishes to be included in the population that is called “America.” In addition, he used the verb sing. This may date back to the African American tradition of tribal songs. Furthermore, slaves would often sing songs of liberation while working on plantations. In using the word “sing,” he is informing the people of America that he is included in this group and is doing so in his own culturally rich way. In addition he is further stating that he, too, has a voice and can make a prominent contribution to the country, whether or not they believe he can. The second stanza begins by saying “I am the darker brother” (Hughes, 1945, line #). This is referring to his skin color and the fact that he is African American, and even though his skin color is different, he is still a “brother,” or an American citizen and should not be treated differently for that. The rest of the stanza says “They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong” (Hughes, 1945, line #). Because he was sent to a different room to eat when company

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