A particular poem by Langston Hughes that stood out to me was “Let America Be America Again.” This poem talks of how the ideals that America and the “American Dream” were built on do not apply for everyone that make up this nation. Lines such as, “but opportunity is real, and life is free, Equality is in the air we breathe,” are countered with lines like, “(There’s never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this ‘homeland of the free.’)” America boasts the importance of liberty, equality, freedom, etc.; however, not every person in America has these important rights our nation was built on. For those of color, achieving these aspects of the American dream has been an on-going battle throughout the entirety of the nation’s history.
I found this poem particularly interesting because of the present day relevance with the similarities it holds with the slogan of the Trump administration: “Make America Great Again.” This slogan closely mimics the title of the poem. Both the poem and this slogan infer a greater America in the past, but for those of color, America has never been great; issues such as the oppression and segregation of African-American citizens were only more severe. Although America is still not a land of equality for minority groups, comparing this present day America to the America 100 years ago, America is technically “greater,” even if not by much.