I, Too, Sing America / Okay Negroes lyrics

Frank O’Hara

[BARITONE]
I, too, sing America
I am the darker brother

[MEZZO]
Okay, okay, okay Negroes
American Negroes
American Negroes

[BARITONE]
They send me to eat in the kitchen

[MEZZO]
Looking for milk

[BARITONE]
When company comes

[MEZZO]
Crying out loud

[BARITONE]
But I laugh
And eat well

[MEZZO]
In the nursery of Freedomland

[BARITONE]
And grow strong

[MEZZO]
The rides are rough

[BARITONE]
Tomorrow
I’ll sit at the table
When company comes
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me
“Eat in the kitchen,"
Then

[MEZZO]
Tell me where you got that image
Of a male white mammy
God is vague and he don't take no sides

[BARITONE]
Besides
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed —

[MEZZO]
You think clean fingernails crossed legs a smile
Shined shoes
A crucifix around your neck
Good manners
No more noise
You think who's gonna give you something?
You think who's gonna give you something?

[BARITONE]
I, too, am America

[MEZZO]
Come a little closer
Where you from?

[BARITONE]
I, too, am America
Tomorrow I'll sit at the table

[MEZZO]
Come a little closer
Where you from?


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