The poem of the day for today’s Black History Month Langston Hughes celebration is “I Too. During February each year, people all across the United States celebrate Black History Month. Things are no different here at Janeane’s World. This month I am copying an idea I got from my friend Pammy Pam over at An Unconventional Librarian and I am devoting the entire month to the poems of my favorite author and poet, Langston Hughes. I will share a poem a day for the entire month.
You may ask what place does poetry or celebrations of Black History month have in this blog that was created to encourage, inspire and motivate women to be their best at work and home. I would answer that I am an African-American woman so black history is my history and when you understand and appreciate it, you come closer to understanding and appreciating me. I would also answer that poetry, like all forms of artistic expression fuels our passions, gives us hope makes us think and makes our lives richer and better.
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.
Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed-
I, too, am America.
Here is my video interpretation of the poem. If you feel adventuresome, create a video of your own and share it with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is one of Hughes’ most popular poems. Many students have read it in school from elementary school through college. Normally, students are taught to see this poem as a statement about the end of racism. Today, as an adult reading this poem I see that and so much more. Many people have had the experience of being seen as not good enough as not ready for prime time. For example, if you have been at work and had supervisors or co-workers look down at your for your lack of experience or for your lack of appropriate education, you can identify with this position of the person in the poem. If this is your current reality, be encouraged. Just as the person in the poem is planning a come-up, you can arise above your circumstances, You can work and gain the necessary experience. The internet, libraries, online college courses and a myriad of other resources, make it possible for you to obtain the education you need.
This situation is not limited to those working in corporate America, SAHMs, entrepreneurs and freelancers all have experienced this kind of treatment from their peers. Be encouraged. Stand strong and know that there is always hope. As long as you are alive, you have an opportunity to change your circumstances and make your world what you want it to be. Always remember, today’s back door can always turn into tomorrow’s celebrated seat at the table.
If you would like to read more inspirational posts, about doing things better, check out the following.
The first thing I learned is that the peer pressure of an accountability group is a good thing. When a group of like-minded people get together and decide to help one another accomplish their goals, great things are possible. There is a common idea from the Bible that when two work together they can accomplish great things because if one falls the other is there for support. That is what accountability groups do – help you accomplish your great things. [Read More . . . ]
Today I am suggesting we kick up our balancing acts. We all have plans for balance. I have a calendar that strictly delineates time for work, home, school and all other activities in my life. I planned everything out carefully and the times I put in the calendar are adequate for each task. When I follow the calendar, things run smoothly, everything gets done and I feel satisfied at the end of the day. However, when I just go with the flow and don’t follow the plan, I fail. In other words, I don’t get everything done, I miss deadlines and I feel dissatisfied at the end of the day. So, I need to kick things up a notch.
If you want to get some Langston Hughes books of your own, check out the following. Please note, these are affiliate links which means I may earn income if you purchase one of these books.
1. This is the book I keep on my desk in my office. It is worn out and the edges are frayed because I use it so much. It was a gift from my husband which makes it a special treasure. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics)
2. The Simple stories were my introduction to Langston Hughes. They are an incredible combination of entertainment, sociology and politics of the time.