Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

Let America Be America Again - Poem by Langston Hughes

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!

Comments about Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

  • (1/9/2019 10:23:00 AM)

    Think I found out where trump got his slogan. Other than that great poem Hughes! (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • (12/19/2018 8:57:00 PM)

    I think this is an excellent poem (Report) Reply

  • (12/12/2018 12:33:00 PM)

    trump should not build the wall (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2018 12:16:00 PM)

    Thankfully Langston Hughes is not alive right now. The last line of his poem here.. is harrowing. It is missing the word great if compared to Trump's slogan. What a dream to have. As a bi-racial woman with Chinese heritage, I am ashamed of America's current state. Political rant over.

    Thank you for the poem, Mr. Hughes. It rings true with me too.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/1/2018 8:10:00 AM)

    Ok this was an epic win (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2018 11:11:00 PM)

    Mr. Hughes may or may not have been to China. I don't really know.
    What I DO know about him is that he was born in 1902, died in 1967 (at the age of 65) that his poetry will live forever and that I am damned glad he isn't here to read some of these ignorant comments.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/16/2018 10:00:00 AM)

    i like how your looks
    u are a
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/16/2018 9:54:00 AM)

    WE R SUCKING UR BALLS (Report) Reply

  • (10/3/2018 1:10:00 PM)


  • (10/3/2018 1:09:00 PM)

    America the most racist place on earth (Report) Reply

    (10/9/2018 11:11:00 AM)

    ignorant. just ignorant. you have never been to China...

  • (10/3/2018 1:07:00 PM)

    America Suck my fries (Report) Reply

  • (9/13/2018 11:03:00 AM)

    Nice. Pretty cool................................................... :) (Report) Reply

  • (8/7/2018 1:47:00 AM)

    this poem is so true in today's world. the words ring through my spirit and echoes and breathes life (Report) Reply

  • (8/4/2018 8:46:00 PM)

    extreme and amazing truth- gifted writer great choice - thank you for sharing (Report) Reply

  • (8/4/2018 4:29:00 PM)

    Thanks for posting this poem. It was written from the heart. (Report) Reply

  • (8/1/2018 3:25:00 PM)

    And... all this could be said today! (Report) Reply

  • (7/24/2018 12:59:00 AM)

    Very beautiful poem.
    https: //
    (Report) Reply

  • Alison Mujati (6/19/2018 10:37:00 PM)

    Well may like my new poem As long as i live (Report) Reply

  • (5/31/2018 4:25:00 PM)

    fool fool
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/30/2018 8:57:00 PM)

    what is errybody doin today i like cheese and fooooooddd. i hope someone can reply to me and send nudes plz and thanks Already Reported Reply

    (5/31/2018 8:13:00 PM)

    asking for nudes on


Read all 91 comments »

User Rating:
4,2 / 5 ( 257 votes ) 72

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Read poems about / on: america, dream, today, dog, freedom, rape, africa, people, greed, hope, home, dark, faith, strength, power, work, rain, red, green, pain

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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