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Download a PDF file of the choral score of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.
Commissioned by the Newark (NJ) Boys Chorus, Donald C. Morris, Music Director
The Langston Hughes poem, "I, Too," is a powerful statement by an African-American writer. Although too often denied equal opportunity or respectful treatment in this country, the author claims his right as an American. I, too, sing America.
The musical setting interprets this phrase literally. Not only does the author sing praises of his country, he also sings the words to the patriotic song, "America" (My Country, 'Tis of Thee - lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith: 1808-1895).
The text of this song has been adapted to include references to African-American experiences:
Land where my fathers died -- in bondage, in battle (slavery, military service)
Land of my mothers' pride - with dignity and daring (Rosa Parks)
No longer relegated to eating in the kitchen (as a servant), the proud African-American states, I, too, sing America. I am America.
This is my country!
Notes by the composer