Let America Be America Again

Today we’re reading Langston Hughes’s “Let America Be America Again.” Poetry is meant to be listened to, so you may enjoy listening to James Earl Jones read it (below).

One you read the poem, answer the following questions. Try to find specific examples to support your answers: 

  • What is Hughes saying about the American Dream in this poem? 
  • Why do you think he puts some lines in parentheses? E.g., “(America never was America to me.)”
  • Who responds to the question, “Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?”?
  • Does the poem end on a positive note? Explain why you think why or why not. 

Remember, this is an informal writing response, but you should do your best. Think about using descriptive verbs and engaging directly with the text as you compose your answers. 

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