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TEXT

I, Too

“I, Too” is a poem written by Langston Hughes and published in 1959. 
Author
Langston Hughes
Grade Level
6-8

Source
By permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated. From COLLECTED POEMS OF LANGSTON HUGHES. Copyright ©1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes
Text Dependent Questions
Question
What do you think Hughes means when he writes, “I am the darker brother,” and how does this affect the poem’s
voice and purpose?
Answer
He writes from the first person perspective of the “darker brother.” This suggests those within society who are treated
as lesser than and who are not allowed at the metaphoric table. As a black man himself, Hughes is taking on the
voice of the entire black population at large.
Question
What does Hughes mean by “they’ll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed”? What does this suggest to you
about his view of human nature?
Answer
It shows his optimistic or idealistic view of human nature, which this line suggests is fundamentally empathic and
moral.
Question
In your opinion, does this poem hold up through time or is it particularly relevant to its time in 1959?
Answer
Student responses will vary.