Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Is a strong seed
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem Democracy


  1. Michael says:

    I want to know the form and structure of the poem “Democracy by Langston Hughes” and “I Know why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou”. Can anyone help me? I really need your help, please…

  2. ERICK MKWEJI says:

    As it is suggested by the Scholars that whatever Writers
    write it must reflects the society in which he or she
    lives so Hughes Poem reflects the way Black Americans were treated were tortured,humiliated,harassed and not allowed to participate full in Political matters in short they had no say which are against with Human rights as declared in 1948.So we need FREEDOM through it DEMOCRACY could be attained.Congratulation to the writer for being FREEDOM FIGHTER.

  3. Douglas says:

    Hughes’ poem is concise and unambiguous. I wonder though…Would Hughes’ be ok with a Corporation such as McDonald’s or Exxon/Mobil reciting his poem. That is, essentially what the Supreme Court has decided in the recent first amendment case brought before the court by a Corporately funded group called Citizens United! According to the Supreme Court, corporations deserve free speech rights! Corporate personhood will eventually spell the end of democratic representative government. Bye, bye America! That is, unless we get out and do what Hughes suggested. We need a grassroots movement to amend the constitution to disallow corporate personhood and all corporate sponsorship of out lawmakers and government officials. Corporations belong in a subservient role in our society, not the dominant role that they have developed over the last few decades.

  4. tom a says:

    This is good

  5. Naheed says:

    This poem touched something deep inside. It happens so often that in the business of our daily lives, we forget about what is going on in the world and we become desensitized. We should stand up for the right no matter where we are and protest against the wrong no matter how far from our homes it is taking place.

  6. elizabeth gonzalez says:

    we shall respect one another as children of god and let the prisioners of there country free. let the hungry eat at the table no matter what color dont be racist to your kind grow up to a world of freedom .

  7. Lori says:

    i think this poem effects more than just americans, imagine all those people who don’t even have the right to speak their minds. also this is definitely clearly relevant to the times of segregation for african americans, hughes himself was black and never was able to shout that he is truly happy and has freedom and equal rights and that is what he was fighting fo

  8. Dorothy Hutchinson says:

    I am born on america soil and want my freedom now.
    They say we are free. But I feel we a still held in bondage, it is in a different form. Every American Citizen
    should read this poem and reflect on how he or shee is living her life. We all have a right to choose but can we without being opress by the laws goveren by your state.

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