Let America Be America Again Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Let America Be America Again College Essay Examples

Title: LANGSTON HUGHS POEM

  • Total Pages: 4
  • Words: 1315
  • Bibliography:3
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: General subject would be AMERICAN HISTORY/RACE

For your research assignment, you will choose one of the following short stories or poems and research the historical context of the story in order to argue that the author, through the story, is relating a unique experience of living as an American. Each story has a specific historical context, and your task is to discover what the author is trying to relate to the reader about the historical experience however you and/or the author define that.

You must:

Use one of the stories below as your primary source
Research the topic using at least three secondary sources and incorporate your research into the essay
Primary Sources:(I pasted the full poem at the bottom as well)

Let America Be America Again” (Langston Hughes) -- http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-america-be-america-again/

Research your secondary sources on the specific era of American history using any and/or all of the following methods:

a. Internet
b. College Library
c. Public Libraries
d. http://www.iconn.org
e. http://www.bibliomania.com/
f. http://faculty.mdc.edu/mhand/literaturesites.htm

Appropriate secondary sources DO NOT include book reviews, movie reviews, or student essays.

Your research project should be 4-5 pages, type-written, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font. It must be edited, proofread and spell-checked prior to being handed in. Be sure to include a Works Cited page of any references that you used in the writing of this paper. Make sure you include in-text citations for any quotes used throughout your paper. If you don’t have your writer’s handbook from your Composition class, you can find MLA formatting information on the Internet. One site that you might find helpful is http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/mla/

You will be assessed in this assignment on the following criteria:

· Your ability to research secondary sources on a primary source of literature.

· Your ability to write an original thesis statement regarding the author/literature, defend and support that thesis statement in a research paper, and incorporate quotes from the secondary sources into your writing.

Your ability to properly cite primary and secondary sources according to MLA style.



"Let America be America Again"


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!

Langston Hughes

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Works Cited

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.

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Title: langston hughes

  • Total Pages: 4
  • Words: 1209
  • Sources:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: this is a literary criticism research paper on "let america be america again" by langston hughes. the format is as follows:

first body
a. topic sentence
b. clarification statement
c. textual examples and critical commentary
d. relevance to the thesis

second body
a. topic sentence
b. clarification statement
c. textual examples and critical commentary
d. relevance to the thesis

third body
a. topic sentence
b. clarification statement
c. textual examples and critical commentary
d. relevance to the thesis

concluding paragraph
a. transition and assertion
b. redirection of the reader''s attention
c. examples
d. generalization on the value of the topic

works cited

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Sources:

Works Cited

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"

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Title: Reveiw and Answer

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 800
  • References:0
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Explore the importance of the Harlem Renaissance to American society in the 1920s. Who were its major participants and benefactors? How did it influence American society? How beneficial was it to black Americans as a group?

Next, please comment on the following poem by Langston Hughes:

Let America Be America Again

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,
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!

*****
Pretend that you were a typical 20-year-old Japanese-American in 1942. Describe the circumstances in which you lived at that time. What is your response to the American army's request that you serve in the armed forces of the United States? Why?

******
Conservative politics enjoyed a revival during the 1980s and 1990s. Identify conservative goals and assess the impact conservative policies had on U.S. society.

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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.

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Title: hughes

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 543
  • Works Cited:1
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: please read the essay my class mate wrote and write a response.

1.? responses should be at least two developed paragraphs
2.? You should conduct yourself as you would in courteous conversation by responding directly and specifically to what the post communicates.
3. Say what drew you to the post to which you are responding--a particular insight, way of writing, or question being asked.
4. Be generous and name what you find engaging about the post.
5.? Ask questions that invite clarification or further discussion.
6.? Contribute your own thoughts and experiences where appropriate.
7.? Make friends as best you can.



Poetry has many different shapes and sizes; they also have their own individual time and style. There are poems with very short lines like those written by Emily Dickinson from the Victorian ages and then there are poems with very long lines like those written by Walt Whitman in the new America. Whitman has inspired many poets, one of them being the African American poet Langston Hughes. Hughes time was well after slavery was abolished in the United States; his poetry consisted mostly of how life was for African Americans in America. Just like Walt Whitman, he wrote about equality and democracy for all in poems such as I Too Sing America and Let America Be America Again. What makes Hughes such a distinct poet is his form of poetry; his poems are what is called Jazz Poetry.
Jazz poetry is different from other types of poetry and might even be considered a form of free verse. Jazz poetry consists of lines that one can hear and that rhyme in such a way that it can almost be lyrics to a jazz song or a response to one. Langston?s poem The Weary Blues is a poem in response to a jazz song, ?I heard a Negro play. Down on Lenox Avenue the other night? it is written so that the reader knows he is talking about the singer?s expressed trouble in his life.
?Got the Weary Blues
And can't be satisfied?
I ain't happy no mo'
And I wish that I had died."

Jazz was a way of letting African Americans express themselves in times where they weren?t allowed and in which they were still much oppressed even after the civil war that had ended slavery. ?It is from this choral and compositional tradition of black music that emerged after the Civil War that black musical theater came into being in the 1890s?(Wynton Marsalis, musician. On a slave's need for improvisation, Audio Excerpt from JAZZ A Film by Ken Burns.) This type of poetry was like an outlet to the unfair treatment of the African Americans. Hughes mentions Whitman as one of his major influences and one can surely see why. Whitman?s poems were long, rhythmic pieces in which he spoke about equality and showed the real motives behind democracy. Jazz and of course Jazz poetry is linked directly to this notion of equality and democracy. It was a way for those slaves to express themselves and to keep their culture and religion in a place where their freedom was robbed from them.

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Works Cited:

References:

Poem Hunter. (2013). Langston Hughes -- All Poems. Web, Available from: http://www.poemhunter.com/langston-hughes/. 2013 March 12.

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