I, Too, Am America
Langston Hughes, illus. by Brian Collier (Simon & Schuster)
Collier merges Hughes's 1945 poem "I, Too, Sing America" with the history of the Pullman railway porters, a job that helped build an African-American middle class in the decades following the Civil War. It's a brilliant and effective pairing, bringing provocative new dimension and context to Hughes's words about claiming a seat at America's table.