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According to the poem, is the song a happy or sad one? why?I, too, sing America. I am...

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secund1n0 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted February 14, 2012 at 6:10 AM via web

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According to the poem, is the song a happy or sad one? why?

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. Nobody'll dare Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen," Then. Besides, They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed-- I, too, am America.

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phook33 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM (Answer #1)

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I think this is a happy poem in that the concept is that there is a rising in position, importance, and pride. It speaks of the past and the future and the future appears brighter. The bitterness of "eating in the kitchen" will bring shame to the minds that accepted this as status quo. That there will be eventual acceptance and the ability to see beyond the surface and knowledge that we truly are the same beneath the skin.

Even with the plight of being seen as second rate at the time there is still pride in one's country for all it promises to be and has been for immigrants of varied races in its history. This belief will fortify and lead one to strive for that acceptance and fruits it can bear.

The protagonist is able to laugh as there are many in his shoes suffering the same indignation. United they can overcome the ignorance they can clearly see as they eat in the kitchen and laugh. There is also the underlying knowledge that there are contributions to be made and they will be welcomed "when company comes" to share their thoughts, ideals, and knowledge gained from having sat in that kitchen and endured.

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