"I, too, sing America.Read more...
"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."
Langston Hughes was a courageous voice of his time, and his authentic call for equality still rings true today. Beautiful paintings from Barack Obama illustrator Bryan Collier accompany and reinvent the celebrated lines of the poem "I, Too," creating a breathtaking reminder to all Americans that we are united despite our differences.
This picture book of Langston Hughes s celebrated poem, "I, Too, Am America," is also a Common Core Text Exemplar for Poetry."
- ISBN-13: 9781442420083
- ISBN-10: 1442420081
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: May 2012
- Page Count: 40
- Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-03-05
- Reviewer: Staff
Caldecott Honor artist Collier (Dave the Potter) uses Hughes’s well-known poem as text for a visual history of Pullman railway porters, one of the first jobs that offered African-American men steady pay, dignity, and a ladder into the middle class. Hughes’s lines—“They send me to eat in the kitchen/ When company comes,/ But I laugh,/ And eat well,/ And grow strong”—fit beautifully with the story of the porters, giving the poem new meaning and impact. Collier’s portraits of the porters at work alternate with bold, sweeping spreads of cotton fields, onto which a porter scatters discarded books and magazines, planting knowledge along the railway lines. The story travels from South to North and from old to new, ending in Harlem, where a contemporary African-American mother rides in a subway car, her son gazing out the window. In the next spread, he’s seen in startling closeup, parting and peering between the stripes of an all-but-invisible American flag. “I, too, am America,” he says. It’s a powerful metaphor for looking at African-American history—and the issue of race in America—from the inside out. Ages 4–8. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick and Pratt Agency. (May)