Langston Hughes

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How does Langston Hughes' poem, "Let America be America again," show the American Dream?

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In this poem, Hughes is asking for America to return to "the dream it used to be," but fundamentally he is criticizing the fact that, for him and people like him—that is to say, black people—America has never meant the same thing that it has to others. If "America" means, or should mean, the dream of freedom, opportunity, and equality, then the nation will need to work hard to ensure such a dream is available to all people of all colors. For black people, America "never was" such a place.

Hughes describes what the American dream, in its best and purest form, should be, and should mean: it is a land of "love," whose fundamental principle is that no person should ever be "crushed by one above." That is, it should be a land free of tyranny and classism, a place of freedom, equality, and opportunity for...

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