Dawahare, Anthony. "Langston Hughes' Radical Poetry and the 'End of Race'." MELUS, Vol. 23(3), 1998.
Harding, Vincent. Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement. New York: Orbis, 1990.
Hughes, Langston. "Let America Be America Again." The Academy of the American Poets. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15609,Mar. 23, 2008
Presley, James. "On 'Let America Be America Again.'" Modern American Poetry. http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/g_l/hughes/america.htm. Mar. 23, 2008.
Hughes, Langston. "Let America Be America Again." From Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Roberts, Edgar. Jacobs, Henry. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1995.
Wagner, Jean. "Langston Hughes." Black Poets of the United States. Trans. Kenneth Douglas. Chicago: U. Of Illinois P, 1973, 385-474.
Presley, James. "The American Dream of Langston Hughes." Southwest Review, 1963.
Let America Be America Again"
The poem "Let America be American Again" by Langston Hughes is a poetic and social commentary of the presence of blacks in America. The poem is an eloquent commentary on the discrepancy between the mythology of the American experience and the reality of the American experience, especially from a perspective outside of the white, wealthy, male majority/power structure. Hughes does reference the experience of the poor, ethnic minorities of all kinds, and references a simpler, more wholesome time in America when there was more hope and real potential for equity.
If I were twenty years old during 1942 and was a Japanese-American, I imagine I would live with my family in a major or at least large city on the west coast of the United States. Perhaps I lived with my family in San Francisco, where there is one of the largest Asian communities in the U.S.A. Many Japanese-Americans at the time owned small and productive businesses, as well as worked in important parts of the community as civil servants in some fashion. Perhaps I would help my father in his paper store and helped my mother in her flower shop. Japan is well-known for their interest and flair for paper and ikebana is a very long tradition in Japanese culture (flower arranging). Therefore, this hypothetical family life is plausible. I would likely also assist in raising any younger siblings, cousins, and extended family members. I would lead a simple life and support my new country as many Japanese-Americans did and still do. If requested to serve in the armed forces during WWII, I think I would reluctantly participate. I would participate because it is my new country even though I would be fighting against my countrymen, but with the threat of Japanese-American internment, I would do what I was asked to do, no more and no less. I may have to make some difficult choices, but this is part of the life of immigrants to America -- they are always tied to and caught between where they come from and where they are.
The rise of conservative politics in the 1980s & 1990s in the U.S.A. was a reaction to the political and economic activities/trends of prior decades, specifically the 1960s and 1970s. The American people were displeased with the conflict in Vietnam. They were highly disappointed with the behavior and the general presidency of Richard Nixon. Upper and middle class white men argued that they were victims of reverse discrimination because of legislation put in place to support the presence of women and minorities in institutions of higher learning and various, if not all industries in the workforce. This period saw a rise in televangelism and increased tensions of the Cold War. The 1980s in America were the Reagan years and the early 1990s were one set of Bush years. Both men had conservative administrations that washed over this period of conservatism as well.
Poem Hunter. (2013). Langston Hughes -- All Poems. Web, Available from: http://www.poemhunter.com/langston-hughes/. 2013 March 12.