Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem Let America Be America Again


  1. Azar says:

    I, a woman who’s been forced to veil myself, came across a Persian translation of this beautiful, powerful and never aging poem by a great Iranian poet, Shamloo.
    I couldn’t imagine that it was written by an American poet in 1932. This poem is more relevant now than ever, not only about America but about so many other countries.
    The Irony of history is that this poem today can refer as much to America as to Iran of today or yesterday.
    Thanks for this very interesting website.

  2. smokedsalmoned says:

    Put One More s in the U.S.A.

    To make it Soviet.

    One more s in the U.S.A.

    Oh, we’ll live to see it yet.

    Good-morning, Revolution:

    You’re the very best friend

    I ever had.

    We gonna pal around together from now on.

    Listen, Revolution,

    We’re buddies, see—


    We can take everything:

    Factories, arsenals, houses, ships

    Railroads, forests, fields, orchards,

    Bus lines, telegraphs, radios

    (Jesus! Raise hell with radios!)

    Steel mills, coal mines, oil wells, gas,

    All the tools of production,

    (Great day in the morning!)


    And turn ‘em over to the people who work.

    Rule and run ‘em for us people who work.

    By Langston Hughs – communist – In 1932 he spent a long stretch in the Soviet Union, especially in the eastern parts.

  3. james newberry says:

    American gal you are not a poet a poet would not be so idiotic as to suggest for another toleave the country that they came to. Maybe if someone took your rights away you would understand but what else could any of us expect from white trash. I am sure its probably becouse you are inbred trash, you should tell your mother to stop messing with her brother and having kids by him because you are the ending result. poet you are not ignorant you are.

  4. Mark Reed says:

    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 was written.

  5. Alexander says:

    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?

  6. PGLK says:

    Huges’ poem will continue to resonate until his dream of a “land where every man is free” is realized. If you cannot see the very same ills in America today that are written about in this poem from 1938, then you have not been paying attention. Does every child in this great land have access to decent heal-thcare? Is anyone going to bed hungry tonight? Can each of us truly express who we are in public without fear of reprisal?

    “Every” means both “each” and “all” and unless we can show that each of us is free: free from hunger, free from poverty, free from discrimination; then all of us are diminished. If the American experiment fails, it will be because we were afraid to root out injustice. It will happen if we are afraid to live up to our ideals.

    The voice in this poem that points out the inequality and inconsistencies in the American “dream” is not simply whining about the treatment of African-Americans. The tendency to link this poem solely to the African-American plight is a disservice to both Hughes and America. Seldom do we wish to hear that we are not living up to expectation. It is easy to marginalize the downtrodden until your “unalienable rights” are stepped on.

    This poem speaks to me of our need to work together, our wish to eradicate injustice, and our belief that what the Declaration of Independence states should be realized.

    America has problems, many of them deep-seated. She also has a great many greathearted citizens. Huges gives us a rallying cry, a call to become part of the solution. If you can’t hear his plea, perhaps you are part of the problem.

  7. PGLK says:

    Huges’ poem will continue to resonate until his dream of a “land where every man is free” is realized. If you cannot see the very same ills in America today that are written about in this poem from 1938, then you have not been paying attention. Does every child in this great land have access to decent heal-thcare? Is anyone going to bed hungry tonight? Can each of us truly express who we are in public without fear of reprisal?

    “Every” means both “each” and “all” and unless we can show that each of us is free: free from hunger, free from poverty, free from discrimination; then all of us are diminished. If the American experiment fails, it will be because we were afraid to root out injustice. It will happen if we are afraid to live up to our ideals.

    The voice in this poem that points out the inequality and inconsistencies in the American “dream” is not simply whining about the treatment of African-Americans. The tendency to link this poem solely to the African-American plight is a disservice to both Hughes and America. Seldom do we wish to hear that we are not living up to expectation. It is easy to marginalize the downtrodden until your “unalienable rights” are stepped on.

    This poem speaks to me of our need to work together, our wish to eradicate injustice, and our belief that what the Declaration of Independence states should be realized.

    America has problems, many of them deep-seated. She also has a great many greathearted citizens. Huges gives us a rallying cry, a call to become part of the solution. If you can’t hear his plea, perhaps you are part of the problem.

  8. Ray G says:

    the poem was real good and Langston Hughes is just a good poet

  9. drew d. says:

    for me being just a student looking for a poem for school.i enjoyed reading it.it showed lots of emtion and a lot of things that we DREAM about

  10. Chris J. says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this poem and I think of Langston as one of the greatest Americans of the last century. The Portion where the poet says “And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?” reminds me of a point in W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of black folk when DuBois is speaking of when he is a child and a ‘veil’ is drawn over his face, he finds out as a child that he is somehow lesser than other humans in his country and belongs to an inescapable & perpetual lower caste. His heart is broken and a bit of innocence is seemingly lost. This is the true cry of my soul as an American, I have a mixed heritage like Mr. Hughes had & perhaps that contributes to this. I see this poem as a dream of a greater America, one where college campuses are no longer cold and numbing, freedom is real, racial and caste colonial ideas are done away with, and all people are truly equal.

  11. Sarah says:

    The main idea of this poem is equality for all. And true, at the time this poem was written, America was going through a phase of intense discrimination. Looking back at those times, America has improved, but the foundation of which this country was built on, cannot and does not want to accept the success of minorities, rather white people. It is true, and admit it, white people are better off with more benefits, ex: Hurricane Katrina. The example is not the point here. Fact is Fact. White people are dominant. Those other than whites, are considered minorities and treated like minorities. Our only way to success is to pave our way through. Don’t matter whether there be snakes lashing at you on the road. Look straight forward and go towards your goal. Never give up under any circumstances. Those above you will just laugh and say, “see, i told you.” Never ever let those above you look down on you. Never work towards making people look towards you, but instead work your best, be number 1 in all you do, and eventually people will hold you in respect, benefits will come, and you in turn can help those in the situation you were in before your success began.

  12. Lilli says:

    I love how Lansgton hughes had so much emotion

  13. magazin tehniki says:

    You are the best! Im glad…


  14. Ssndra says:

    It is as if Langston Hughes is alive today. Everything he wrote in this poem can be identified today. Look at the immirgrants who are trying to settle here today. Look at the Blacks in prison (on relief)today. It is time to turn America around and make it the country that is written in the constitution, We the people (not we, some of the people).

  15. Raznoe says:

    This web-site is the coolest! Now I dont have to feel so intimated by science! Youre a genius! I think Ill visit this site often.

  16. Asliegh says:

    This is a potent poem the diction is incredible and it still relates to today’s struggle

  17. Tido says:

    To J.D., J.P. and others, pay attention to the work not the author. Truth is truth, whether a beggar, a communist, an ex-convict or a rich man holds it. Helen Keller was a socialist, will you discredit the dedication of her spirit’s work? As long as you and I continue to put the value of self at the frontier rather than the works and potentials of our hands we will forever be self-righteous beings like the dogmatic priests and pharisees, jihad warriors and fanatics. In that case, we have nothing to learn from each other and by so doing, we have neglected the very purpose of existence.

  18. Bernardo says:

    I love this poem, it is truly inspiring and i totally agree with it, the world should be free and everyone treated fairly. good job langston

  19. NABILAH says:

    what an awesome poen i love it this poem os the best yet it describes america so well and how the people behave i dont know how people love it here so much but i dont. living in america as a muslim is so hard you experience a lot of racism and i hate it. just so that everyone out there knows NO WHERE IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!1

  20. this is the truth says:

    ok seriously this is truth…to all of the ignorant racists who have been leaving comments on this poem just go ahead and shoot yourselves in the face…langston hughes had one of the greatest literary minds that this country has ever known and he was able to publish and receive praise for this and other poems at a time when he and other people of differnt races and relgions were being greatly oppressed. you all think of this poem as if it were written today where many of you obviously believe that america has no more problems dealing with race. you have to realize that this poem was written during a time period where this was one of the biggest problems our country faced and for african americans, latinos, indians, immigrants, and other races, it was their whole life. what else did he have to write about? even if he wrote this poem today, it would still be incredible because, regardless to what the racists commenting on this poem believe, there still is a problem with race. yes, our country still has racial issues. i dont know what beverly hills country club community you all grew up in but it does exist.

  21. zainab says:

    America doesnt mean Democracy and Democracy doesn’t mean America..

  22. Zer0ne says:

    I remember reading this once to my class back in 2002. I had to capture the emotion of this poem, and be able to say it (or in certain parts, shout) as if I meant it.

    I remember one thing that went through my mind back then, and it still does now. This poem can be applied to what we have today. America has forgotten what it was originally about, and at this rate, it will never remember. When the first settlers landed here to colonize, they travelled seeking freedom. Freedom from oppression, and persecution. They wanted the freedom to rule themselves, to be able to practice their religion(s) without being persecuted by anyone against them. Overall, they wanted to be free from being controlled, and a chance to be equal to one another.

    This was the original concept of the American Government; a government ruled by all of the people. Where a person can come and be just like everyone else. Instead, we have a country where the rich make the rules, and a government that caters to them. To those of us in the US, take a look around. Take a look at how everything seems to revolve around those who have and control the money, how the government can do almost anything as they please, and how the others suffer for everything they do.

    Read this poem again, and again, and again. Close your eyes, and imagine yourself in his place. Take a glimps of the world from his eyes, and you’ll understand a bit of what he has written.

  23. OralInterp says:

    I have been utterly shocked at some of the racist and hurtful comments on this page. In my opinion, if this poem was posted as having an anonymous author, no one would know that it was written by an African-American. Or rather, if it was publicized as being written by a white author, there would not be so many racist comments against it. THIS IS NOT a poem about black slavery or prejudice against the African-American race. Hughes specifically refers to “the poor white” and “red man” IN ADDITION to the “Negro.” I think the knowledge that Hughes was an African-American himself is overriding his message in some of your minds; you automatically assume he is lashing out at the white race because he lived in a time where racial prejudice was (sadly) more rampant than it is today. Instead of concentrating solely on the racial aspects of this poem (although they are an integral part and should be considered in analyzing this work) try to see what else Hughes is trying to get across. I agree with JenPP on the comment that the American Dream is a perfection that we as a country will never attain. I think that Hughes sees that; the main message is that we, as a UNIFIED society, regardless of race or status, should do our best to ATTEMPT to achieve what we claim our country to be: the “homeland of the free.”

    Also, as a side note to some of you who have deemed yourself poetic critics: in the world of literature, it is rude and even incorrect to label a work “good” or “bad.” Yes, you reserve the right to express your feelings on how you felt about the work, such as saying,”I didn’t like the way he said this,” or “I love the use of allusion here.” But to consider yourself powerful enough to deem an artist’s work “good” or “bad” as though you have the final word on what is or what isn’t is ridiculous; you are giving yourself false power. Art is never “good” or “bad.” It just IS. It is your INTERPRETATION and the impact that it had on you that is either positive or negative.

  24. Grace says:

    I think people need to have a better understanding of not just what they say, and of what Hughes has said in his work, but what other people are saying. Might I ask why controdict someone, when you are actually, in fact agreeing? There is a diference between arguing and debating. Arguing is child’s play. Debate is for adults.

  25. yarel again says:

    To:jennifer from United Kingdom

    Your post was so ignorant and I think you should know what you are talking about when you write about America. your view are so close minded. The U.s isn’t all materialistic. It is like any other country in the world. Sure our country has its share of problems and naive people but so does the rsst of the world! Look at every single country and you can see their faults. Nothing is perfect and not one person is better than the other. We are all one race of imperfect humean beings. Everyone has their fauls but humans have to see past the walls of established mind sets of superiority, religion, race, countries, nations, and continental didvisions.

  26. Yarel 16 years old says:

    Everyone who reads a Langston Hughes work has to keep in mind that he lived in a time when suppression of the black race was customary and the Jim Crow laws where at their peak. The time of the harlem Reinassance when 90% of black people were stuck in the south being tortured, lynched, bounded by sharecropping, and in a way still slaves in society. Growing up in a democratic government while these terrible things were happenning was all that Hughes saw. Ofcourse he would look at the cummunist governments who swear that their main agendas are equality. He was naive in this way to blame the government when so much has gone wrong. even though cummunism is terrible, langston was so blinded at the suppression of his race that he ignored the injustices, labors, and terrors of a cummunist government. His poem was beautiful. It is a story of slavery in not only America but in the world. The title may be America but it is not right to judge the US for their problems when all countries have suffered the same. The world isn’t perfect, the human race is not perfect. But people like Langston Hughes can help us learn and can teach us to see the wrongs that have been committed. Only after we learn of the terrors once witnessed is when we can avoid repeating the mistakes all of humanity has made.I am usually not the biggest poetry fan but Langston was a credible poet and a great writer. Despite the controversies of the simplicity of his works.

  27. max powers says:

    this poem sucked it had no soul or flow in its words im not impressed

  28. alpal says:

    I think this poem gives you a new perspective on the USA. Very interesting and touching. Great work Hughes!

  29. Ari says:

    At first I think this poem is really great. I like it even more than the German ones 😉
    I also believe we should consider that it is still up-to-date. I think that the people today becomes more and more selfish with their grabbing and greed. So they do what they want without thinking of other people living around them. I don’t know whether it is like this in America but I’m quite sure that there’s no place all over the world where you are safe from this. I hope you see that we all make the world bad because we only wait and see without doing something. That’s it what the poem made me think of and I hope that I’m not the only one because the world can be better if we do something for her and always try to help other poeple instead of thinking of our own profit from this actions.

  30. resa says:

    this poem is very touching and when i had to do a project on Hughes i never thought i could be this touched by a single poem i think we all need to look at ourselves and not judge every one and treat everyone equal great poem!!

  31. JenPP says:

    First off, it is really sad that alot of people posting here think Langston Hughes is alive and are saying, “Hi” to him. Do some research, people! There is alot of info on the web about LH, his life, and some critical analysis of this poem.

    I have to disagree that this poem applies to the US today. Especially coming from the mouths of pre-teens and teenagers–you haven’t even moved out of your house yet so what do you know about the real challenges in this country besides what you hear from family, TV, and your teachers? I studied this poem among many other literary pieces while obtaining my undergraduate degree. There is alot of misunderstanding when it comes ot the reading of this piece. First of all, the American Dream, much like the City on A Hill concept, will always be an unattainable goal, an ideal that can never be realized in an imperfect world. This past weekend I witnessed a Girl Scout troop performing this as part of World Thinking Day. I was appalled as they acted out slaves being beaten and children recited these words. They do not understand the meaning. The poem is not uplifintg–it is an expression of the struggles of those from the depths of society to attain the Dream. In a capitalist society, no matter how “rich” the poor are, there will still always be a “poor” class and a Rich class. The demographics may differ but there will always be such a system in the US, unless capitalism dies. The only way that there can be equality as Hughes expressed would be in a socilaist or communist government, where there are no real social classes. It is important in criticizing any work that you consider the times in which the work was crafted, the history of the writer themselves, and so on. How can you otherwise put the work into the correct context to do an analysis?

  32. Kyle Lover says:

    Wow this is BEAUTIFUL! The only reason that I am even on this site is b/c i am doing hw and i need to kno y he wrote this poem but i am not having any luck. But i will find it eventually so neway i love the poem I think that it is really cool you kno what i mean i am sure u guys do cause like a lot of peeps have said so but i haven’t read all of them only the ones that first popped up and one of them was left on my friends b-day (August 27) and the next one was left on my b-day…(August 26) then another one was left on my moms b-day (August 23) isn’t that cool yeah i kno well i have to go so bye!!
    email me!

    ~Kyle Lover~

  33. okairy says:

    This poem has a very interesting point of view. I wonder if Langston Hughes were still alive today, if he’d still have the same point of view that he has in this poem.
    To American Gal and All American Boy:
    First of all before you talk please know what you’re talking about.
    Honey if Langston hated this country so much he probably would have moved if he could. But remember that he was a black man without rights. You can’t blame him for feeling this way when he was treated like crap. This poem is how he felt during that time.
    Secondly, men didn’t fight for his ass, they fought for their own ass and their country. It just so happened to be that he was there at the time.
    Ok then. Thats my input. I realy think america has changed though.:-)

  34. al lieter says:

    this poem rocks!!!!!!!!!!!. i love it so much that i made a rock album out of it.

  35. Holly says:

    This poem was fantastic to read! I am doing a project on him for black history month! It was a very well written, well spoken poem! And if I was able to speak to Langston I would say just that!

  36. English Student says:

    I am a student in High School who just read this poem and have to do a project on it. I believe what Hughes has to say is very inspiring to anyone who has read it. It shows his true feelings about racism and what he went through. America is supposed to be THE american dream where everyone is free and happy. In reality, this is not the case. NOT everyone is free and treated equally like america states they should be. He’s basically just putting the truth out there whether someone is there to take it or not.

  37. DJ Mitchell says:

    What can I say about this poem, first of all it is very detailed and inspiring. It uses a lot of poem techniques such as imagery, diction, reputation, and paradoxes. What I think is that sets this poem so far from the others is that it is very straight forward on what Langston Hughes wants you to think but it still makes you wonder. I personally want to personally congratulate Langston Hughes on a great poem.

  38. Afzal says:

    I think this poem is really inspiring. Though I’m not American, I have a deep interest in it. I’ve read quite a bit about it and this poem has summed it all up, all the questions I’ve asked when I read all the stories and news on America and compared them with the country’s ideals and “basic dream”.. I especially like the parts “O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,” and “And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?”.

  39. Steve says:

    this poem was ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Ryan says:

    This poem by Langston Hughes is one of my favorites. Like other readers, Hughes portrait of what America has been and the optomism of what it could be resonates to a greater degree every time I read it.

    I am concerned about another reader’s comments — “American Gal”. She claims she is a poet, so I am anticipating she is versed in poetry, writing, and “reading to get the point”, yet she completely misses Langston’s message. It is unfortunate she chose to offer such a short-sighted evaluation of this poem. It makes me wonder if she even understood the feelings that are being expressed and why Hughes might feel the way he does? Time? Place? Personal background?

    This poem is timeless. Langston Hughes has given us a sketch of his history which is as true today as it was when originally written.

  41. Kristina says:

    This is my most favorite poem in the hole world!!
    I love everything Langston Hughes has writen and he is my insporation for everything I write.!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Pete says:

    It gets better each time I read it. As for American Gal and All American Boy, your Love It or Leave It attitudes suck big time. How about Change It or Lose It? Hate is not an American value….maybe it is now that I think about it.

  43. Jon Sherman says:

    I am courently writn a paper on this poem and I trully think this poem transends time. I belive this poem is a plea for a chance of humman enbettrment through the voice of the weak and downtordden. This poems cries many of the frustration we all swa with after math of Katrina. This poem is nore than just an issue over black and whites.

  44. Jessika says:

    This poem was good but long. I think that if you would have summed it up a little better more people would read it. Like I said it was a good poem but really long. I know that I had a hard time keeping reading it only becuase of the length. You made your point and thats the great part I mean the only kind of good peom is the one witha point. You have made a good statment and it touched me. Me myself likes to write poetry and enjoyes reading it. But I am the kind of person that likes to write about death and teen troubles being a teen myself. I have been through a lot in life eventhough i am only 17 but I can tell you some horrifying things which is why your poems touched me. Its a good poem keep on writting likw this and it will take you to greater places.

  45. bobby says:

    dear american gal,
    you comments were very difficult to read. asan american i find it desperatelyimportant to understand the past failures of our nation, and look at them honestly. of course hughes poem is driven by a sense of malice in that he is malicious against blatant injustice, which prevailed in the black disinfranchised communities of the urban north namely his beloved new york. his cry is not a cry of damnation as you seemed so set to label it, but obiously in the title alone much less the body of work a cry for reform, for positive revolution within a society. (the most fundamental conviction of our young nation) your stance of love it or leave it is desperately lacking in its value. in practice such a principle applied exaustively as you seem to be applying it here would demand abandonment of all things that are flawed including the people we love, the jobs we hold, and the country we share. our nation is remarkable and unique in many respects, yet we have a particularly dark past for such a short life. if there is any hope of a future for the people of america it begins where langston hughes began here, at looking honestly at the problems, the crimes, the atrocities we as a nation are guilty of internally and abroad and seeking to right these overt and scaring wrongs. i hope you will reconsider your very impatient insecure and defensive comments on this very important piece of art and american history.
    sincerely and humbly,
    post script- the poem is most powerful when it asks “who has drawn a veil across the stars”

  46. American Gal says:

    This is borderline trash. Good Poem? Hardly. While the poem is rich in passion is grossly misrepresents America and as a poet myself I find this sort of ‘anger driven’ wordage pure fluff. So Langston Hughes doesn’t like America…he can leave. It’s not positive, it reeks of malice and the amount of support shown on this site proves that ignorance does abound. Slap a poem title on something Hughes wrote and you suddenly see the rise in ass kissing…

  47. Shaquita says:

    this poem is so deep i actually read it five times. i mean this poem is just like america is today. it’s a crazy world right now and this coming from a sixteen year old. i really love this poem. i mean this poem is so deep that words can’t even describe how it makes me feel inside and out.

  48. Alessandra says:

    this poem is absolutely touching and so deep. when i read this poem over the summer i fell in love with it instantely. its just beautiful and Langston Hughes did an emaculate job on letting everybody know that life wasnt easy for blacks and im proud of my heritage even more.

  49. Danielle says:

    This is the most riveting poem my eyes have ever read. The eloquence and emotion between each word gives me chills, in particular because of my African-American background. This is a man who took history and understood it in a way that many refuse to even brainstorm about. One must admire a being that has the mental capacity to evaluate all effects on racial life, not just his own.

  50. Emma says:

    This poem really touched me….me.. a 12 year old girl. the world really is full of Sh*t and the greedy people who steal & snatch. we can never heal the scars of hate. yet we can work to make them heal & fade lighter.

  51. milainey says:

    i read about this poem in the washington post, in an article regarding the peace movement that has been gaining momentum in d.c. recently.

    specifically the lines “let america be america again, let it be the dream it used to be”

    i like this poem, a lot.

    it just…speaks, i guess.

  52. jennifer says:

    america will never be america again. america is the land of the natives from whom everything was brutally snatched, and they can never come back nor live the way they did. the modern america is full of materialists and sh!t.

  53. cathy says:

    if the read this poem more they would not understand 4 the land of the free is but yet not free at all so to whom that rote this poem i say preach it brother

  54. natalie says:

    wow this peom is so deep… \
    when i read this i swear a tear fell…. i didnt come to this site to be inlighten or touched. i checked it out to get 6 peoms for my classs on power….wow…. this is so beautiful…. this is a great peom and i am not just saying that because eveyone else is….i am say this genuinely…. I hope i am alive to see this day….. cause i am tried of being judge by my apparence and not my character and my decisions and my brains “inside” lol thanx for this poem” it tellsme i am not alone in this dream……~natalie~ “

  55. sandra says:

    Wow !
    How deep it is. It shows that no matter who you are you are still in chains….We havent learned our lessons only avoided them. We yearn for our freedom but rarely realize it. We take it for granted only to see that all along our oignorance has only put us iin chains. WOW!

  56. bob says:

    to all american boy (comment 24)

    if you ever get the chance to read my comment, i hope your thoughts have changed. to call Langston Hughes a communist for his beliefs and poems. is not only a coward type of thing to say but it is just plain ol’ ignorant. people like you who can take a possitve and inspirational poem into something negative is the reason why he wrote that. he believed that peoples thoughts would change in America instead your narrowminded thoughts is what is keeping racism and prejudice alive.

  57. Vivian Haynes says:

    This poem is the greatest. I would like to know what era this poem came from.

  58. j r webster says:

    This poem addresses the widespread issue of racism that is prevalent in America. L H expresses that to him America has never been free. Throughout this poem I can feel the tone which is anger. He strongly holds the sign that he disgards America being the land of the free.

  59. Lucille says:

    Wisdom outlives generations. Isn’t it amazing that Langston Hughe’s perceptions and insights into the state of our country are as valid today, for peoples of all origins, as they were the day he wrote this poem ? He may have been a great Black Poet, he may have been a great American Poet, but I consider him one of the Greatest Universal Poets of all time.

  60. Erin Dee Jay says:

    i chose to recite this poem to my U.S. History class. I was so glad that i had chosen it, even after i’d read it only once… it’s a brutally honest and colorful poem that depicts and illustrates feelings deep inside my heart. i am a natural born rebel, and it makes me feel enraged and satisfied to know that others (in the past and present) share my feelings of an inferiority complex in this land “we” call AMERICA…
    Everyone needs to READ this poem!!!!!!
    ~One Luv Yall~

  61. Robert says:

    This poem is very great and got me thinking,which good poems should make you do. Mr. Hughes raps up what american history books have been trying to teach me for a couple years in one poem. threw this poem i have understood more about history then what any teacher could lecture me about.

    Robert Jackson

  62. Jessica says:

    I think that this peom is a great poem! America has never really been free, now that were in war…the amercians in the country are “really not” free. When Hughes says, “Its speaks of freedom and equality, which America boasts, but never had.”- that is very true to me, in my opinion, yes! america is free, but how far will they go , to take away all americans rights, and freedoms….I highly praise a person from another country…American isnt, all its thought up to be!!!

  63. Markeyia Ledford says:

    i really liked the poem

  64. Boo-boo says:

    I think that this poem had a lot of meaning to it and I think that if you do read it more than once then you will get it. Im a 8th grader and I still had to read it more than once. So take a little time to read this poem and you will get it.

  65. Cesar Vallejo says:

    Someone posted that LH’s polemics ‘make for mediocre poetry’…i dissagree…yes, the end is predictable, but — as so many people have said posting to this sight — it speaks to a vision of the future that today seems so necessary, yet so alien/impossible, to us now that it does indeed cause tears. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “the half-baked ideas of whoever wants to post on the web”…thank god people are actually reading this poetry, and being inspired by it to fight for a better future…if this poem is affecting/inspiring people today, then it must have some esthetic/emotive/political value beyond the scope of any sort of rigid adherence to stalinist esthetics…

  66. Breanna says:

    I think that you should read this poem more than once because it took me more than 1 time reading to actually grasp the whole idea of the poem and if you ever to do a report on a poet like me… you should do it on him becuase this one poem touched me so much that i almost started crying..

  67. Andrew Woodson says:

    I read this poem in a book about langston Hughes. I really like it and my freind Tiffanie Knode (on this site… who really doesnt like me to well) got inspired by Langston Hughes. She had a great poem that she wrote and i encourage her to go farther.

  68. olivia m. birigenda says:

    Self-respect and respect of others will save America! Might is not always right – it has a limit and wise is that one who sees its early predictability!! We love America still – somehow. Let us not forget to love one other truthfully – it will heal wounds fast.


  69. Jaleesa says:

    Since I was educated on his history and who he was, Langston Hughes has always caught my attention. So here I have this poetry project where I have to choose an American poet from the 1900s and analyze one of their poems. So who do you think was the first to pop into my mind? Of course it was Langston. I chose this poem, “Let America Be America Again” because it really touched me the first time I read it. This poem releases a very thought-provoking message. I think that what Mr. Hughes was trying to say was that during his time, the “American Dream” did not pertain to him because he was, as labeled, a Negro. I believe that is something that we should all consider. I leave with saying that I adore this poem and Langston Hughes for his creativity and telling it like it is.

  70. BC says:

    Except that he wasn’t a communist. Socialism is not commu nism. And why would a poet’s political affiliation make a great poem not a great poem. Maybe we should stop reading Pound and Eliot then.

  71. Jazz says:

    In this poem Langston Hughes said what many people were afraid to say. That is that the only kind of person that profits from America’s freedom is a rich white person. I agree with that.

  72. Nae-Nae says:

    This poem ws very touching and we will be reading it at a black history program. To the person who said they hate America we love u too!!!

  73. John Lucas says:

    Hey Mr.Hughes this is John Lucas from Mercer Middle School you were in Ms.Pruzans class last time i like your music i didnt get to say bye well were doing poems to give to Ms.Merna so she can read it…well okae then Mr.Hughes bye hope to hear from you preetie soon..Always John Lucas

  74. bman says:

    ‘case you wonderin’, im not from iraq! this poem is a great one that really stands out to me! i gave it to me teacher and she read it to the class! WE ALL LOVE YOU MR. Hughes! MY FAVORITE PEOM EVER!! GO PATS!

  75. Lori says:

    jb wrote: “According to hughes, who must rebuild the dream & why?” The who is in the last stanza – WE THE PEOPLE. The why? That’s a loaded question if I ever read one. Seems as if he sides with the ones who have us “Tangled in that ancient endless chain Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land! Staunch Republican, eh?

  76. Bryan says:

    Why does Hughes reaffirm the dream of an ideal America in the face of so much evidence to the contrary?

  77. Tom Joad says:

    A public reading of this poem will take place today, January 20th, at the time of Bush’s second oath of office as President. It is a testament to this poem’s greatness.

  78. Daniel says:

    Even as a non-american i find this poem very touching, especially due to it’s universal character. The author had the courage to write about the huge problems of “the promised land” that touch not only americans, but also all of mankind, but even though he is saddened by what is happening in his country, i can feel his great love towards his homeland. Hughes is a TRUE american. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  79. Bilal says:

    Excellent poem… a classic whose message still reverberates in the hearts of many today. Just as relevant today as it was when he wrote it.

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