Two of Mr.. Hughes poems, “l, too” and “Democracy’, one expresses feelings from an African American man’s point of view at a time when they weren’t allowed to have a voice to have a point of view. The other poem basically saying they would never see democracy with the huge cloud of injustice that rises. In Hughes’ poem “l, Too,” the speaker is not an individual as the word “l” implies. In fact, the “l” represents the African-Americans as a whole living in the United States. Hughes also writes “l am he darker brother” instead of “we are the darker brothers” is no accident.
The use of the word “l” as to not using “we” are words of a lonely individual, who doesn’t see a winning chance. The speaker says “They send me to eat in the kitchen,” enforcing they are the enemies. As used in this poem, the first-person voice highlights the weakness of the African-American people. However, this is not the only way that Hughes uses “l” in his poetry. The speaker claims that he, too, sings America. He is the “darker brother” who is sent to eat in the kitchen when there are guests visiting. However, he does laugh and he eats well and grows bigger and stronger.
Tomorrow, he will sit at the table when the guests come, and no one will dare to tell him to eat in the kitchen. They will see his beauty and be ashamed, for, as he claims, “l, too, am America. ” The poet is trying to elaborate the feeling of being seen as nothing to taking it day by day, and becoming something to unapproved eyes. Hughes published “l, Too, Sing America” in 1945, a good ten years or so before the start of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Racism and prejudice was normal in the
US at the beginning of the 20th century – much more than they are now – and so Hughes poem envisions a day in which whites and blacks will eat “at the table” together, in which black citizens will be truly classified as equal Americans. In the poem, “Democracy’ Longs expresses that democracy will never come during his time living or ever. He feels that he has as much a right as a citizen to have property just as the next person does. He gets tired of seeing people’s attitudes, such as a “whatever happens happens” attitude. It is no surprise that democracy in the United
States was nonexistent in the early sass and throughout the Jim Crow era, when blacks had no rights. Democracy back then was Just a label not reality – and outright biased. Government rule by the people consisted of whites only, excluding all African Americans. In Longs Hughes case, he knows that by birth he’s an American citizen. But as a black man in the pre-Civil Rights United States, he sure isn’t being treated like one. So something’s got to change. “l, Too, Sing America” reminisces back to the days of slavery, when African Americans were supposed to be non-visible abort, not actual human beings.
The implication of this poem is that not a whole lot has changed since then. In conclusion, Can anyone blame a man for having such a negative view on democracy while living in a racist society? Absolutely not! Thousands of Black Americans had the same feelings. In reality, democracy was one-sided, for blacks were not allowed to be involved with any decision making, voicing of an opinion, etc. Freedom and equality summarize the entire poem, which is what Hughes wanted at the time, to have basic equality for all.