Let America Be America Again- 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,

America!

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!

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Summer Reading

I’ll admit it, I’m pretty dern obsessed with the summer time. It’s my favorite season! Being highly allergic to the coldness (sarcasm), I feel like I’m in heaven during the summertime. When I’m not working, I love being able to run around the city in just my sports bra; walking long distances and exploring; being a beach bum; enjoying the nightlife; and not having to write any papers! (unless I take summer courses). It’s carefree living, I love it! One of the best things about summer is reading everything on your summer reading list, which I have yet to compile. I have no idea what I’ll be reading this summer which upsets me since I’ll be officially done with the semester in a week and I want to start immediately. All I know is that I’ll be brushing up on my French and ASL (American sign language). That covers the non-fiction portion of the list. I also would like to include a great deal of fiction. I’ve recently gotten into reading graphic novels as well due to a class I’ve taken this semester. To sum it up, I need to make a summer reading list for myself. If anybody is reading this, I’d love to hear any suggestions 🙂

Liberation

 I can feel it coming

like the weary bones of my grandmother

just before the storm.

Patiently waiting,

yet not idly,

for the change I’ve waited my whole life to see.

Change that countless bodies have been piled high for

carelessly

Thrown in jail

for change that makes certain people cringe

for their mindset works in one direction,

annihilating hopefuls such as myself

who refuse to live in a place like Gilead.

Freedom has been

falsely promised to me

By men who would’ve loved

to see me in shackles

fettered to the kitchen

on my hands and knees.

They wrote a book of bullshit

but with the best intentions.

benefitting themselves

and was marked as heroes;

as our fathers;

hypocrites of our nation.

though we’ve made little progress,

I strain my eyes

Through the blinding rays of hypocrisy

and see change in the near future

beyond the shadows of blasphemy.

[This is the poem that I’ll be reading tonight in front of my poetry class plus others, I’m pretty nervous]