Comment -70 of , added on July 6th, 2010 at 5:41 PM.
Let America Be America Again
I read this to a gathering on the 4th of July. This poem is more relavent
now than ever. He speakes of all those who made America but have yet to
realize the dream we all perceive to be America. Let America be America
Again speaks directly to our time now as well as the depression era when it
from United States
Comment -71 of , added on June 29th, 2010 at 11:34 AM.
I often introduce myself as a person of no specific ethnic or national
background... calling myself a "Universal". When asked where i'm from I
usually reply "from a land yet to be discovered" so, what Hughes wrote in
his poem resonates with everything that I am about. Add to this the fact
that I am of African descent. I agree that this 'nation' of ours has been a
fraud for all of its history, making grandiose claims of being a 'melting'
pot where the profits of democratic freedom erases the divisions of race,
nationality,religion, and so forth.
Really? The ways this country has failed in profiting all of its citizens
are too numerous to count whereas, the ways it has are easily counted.
Things now are coming to a head; the democratic experiment is starting
finally to sag under its own ponderous mass like a tower too tall with too
shallow a foundation. A massive collapse is imminent and much of the world
will collapse with it, unfortunately.
I agree and reach these conclusions not merely from my own veiwpoint but
from that of humanity itself being an avid student of all histories-I've
educated myself in the histories of many nations: Rome, Greece, Russia,
China, Japan, Europe, Northern AFrica, America, Canada... And every year I
add more to the list. I wont stop till I can no longer read a book! Why?
because I believe that the story must include all sides; not only the point
of view of the Victors.
If America today can't be remade, remodelled, and reformed to what it
should always have been, let it be recycled to create what should be!
Question is: can a true utopia ever be as long as profit is God? Can it
ever be as long as men are corrupted by power? Can it ever be as long as
party loyalty holds more wieght than talent and creativity?
Alexander from United States
Comment -72 of , added on July 18th, 2009 at 5:59 PM.
I enjoyed reading other people's comments about this piece. There are so
many different experiences that we encounter in life that shape us. No one
has lived a perfect life without struggle. This poem has so much emotion
and purpose. It is powerful. People will be commenting about this poem for
years to come.
Colleen from United States
Comment -73 of , added on June 30th, 2009 at 12:47 PM.
Some people reading this poem as if it doesn't apply to today or still is
not relavant. Katrina was only a few years ago people... The America we
know now is short lived because the current and past actions have not
"honored thy mothers and fathers" and therefore its days must be
Ptah from United States
Comment -74 of , added on January 22nd, 2009 at 10:15 AM.
This poem has particular resonnance now that Obama has taken office, it is
an invitation to "choose our better history" and live up to the promises
that have been broken too many times.
SLC from Costa Rica
Comment -75 of , added on December 10th, 2008 at 11:26 AM.
Personally i think that this poem is very unique; for despite the
simplicity of the language used by Hughes, the poem is still complex and
rich. it lays itself to diverse interpretations, there is a sharp ironic
and-at the same time-accusatory tone throughout the poem. It is that
history full with affliction, subjugation and the struggle against
injustice which represents a treasure-trove of memories and inspiration for
the black community in America in general, and for the Afro-American artist
above all. the great Hughes used his own experience as an african-american
"citizen" and also that one he shared with his community, in order to speak
on behalf of all the marginalized racial minorities and social classes in
the United States, who wish for a different America; that promised land of
freedom, equality and justice. In fact in the poem there is an
appropriation of America by the poet who seeks out to bring to light some
historical facts that America had witnessed. That is to say that
African-Americans who represented the wide majority of the servants,
farmers and workers, represent also the real founders who made America with
their own efforts and sweat, and shaped it with their own hands; slaves had
died in the name of hard work, progression and the common good. Therefore
America belongs to or-at least-has to belong to those who served it
ardently without any-obvious-complains. as a tunisian citizen who has never
travelled to the U.S before i cannot be sure about the present social and
political situation in America (seeing that one cannot really, totally rely
on the "media"); but i guess that Hughes’ own America was never a land of
liberty, equity and even chances for him or his community.
Comment -76 of , added on November 8th, 2008 at 11:59 AM.
The works of Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville, Democracy in
America, 1835, certainly gives of hint of America probably never reaching
the Utopian level some Americans of today actually believe we reached today
but live with tunnel vision and deep in denial. And Michael Harrington, The
Other America, 1962 confirms that the vision of Regan of a 'shining city on
the hill' will probably never be realized.
David J. Cambra from United States
Comment -77 of , added on November 6th, 2008 at 12:14 PM.
PS to my comment: The poem was written in 1938, 70 years ago (not 60 years
ago, as I wrote in my comment0. Sorry for that math error.
from United States
Comment -78 of , added on November 6th, 2008 at 11:31 AM.
Obama's election night was marred by the anti-gay ballot measures that
passed in Alabama, Florida, and California. Langston Hughes was
African-American AND gay! America is STILL not "America" for people like
him, 60 years after he wrote that stirring poem. That so many people still
hold the view that gay people or their loving relationships are by
definition a "threat" to marriage, to family values, and to children
(Alabama), is more than sad. It leads to injustice. Audrey Lorde wrote in
her essay entitled, "There is no Hierarchy of Oppressions," the following:
"I simply do not believe that one aspect of myself can possibly profit
from the oppression of any other part of my identity. I know that my
people cannot possibly profit from the oppression of any other group which
seeks the right to peaceful existence. Rather, we diminish ourselves by
denying to others what we have shed blood to obtain for our children. And
those children need to learn that they do not have to become like each
other in order to work together for a future they will all share." Audre
I heard an African American pastor on NPR this morning saying that he just
couldn't equate race with "sexual preference." He fails to see that it
doesn't matter what human difference one chooses...whether it be gender,
race, religion, ethnicity, eye color or left-handedness: to deny any
citizen the right to be treated as an equal under law...to deny that
citizen life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness based on such common
human differences...is simply wrong. Letting my friends Paula and Kelly
marry will hurt no one, and would greatly benefit them, their two beautiful
daughters, their respective families, and their community (Virgina is about
to lose them and their many contributions to a more gay-friendly
I long for America to become a more perfect union, not only for the Obama
girls, but for Paula and Kelly's girls as well!
from United States
Comment -79 of , added on November 5th, 2008 at 1:58 AM.
This poem is realized in the symbolism of last night's election of Barak
Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America.
from United States