What is the overall theme of "Let America be America Again" by Langston Hughes?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As a writer for the rights of African Americans, Langston Hughes wrote powerfully in his poem Let America be America Again about the need for America to again stand up and be the country it claimed to be for All of its citizens. His theme is that he wants America to grant African Americans the sames rights and privileges as any American and to live without fear.  His poem From Mother to Son uses the same theme. Hughes and others such as Countee Cullen use this theme of rights for all  of the citizens of America to help Americans see the unfairness of how some citizens are treated.  Hughes is a powerful force in the black community and rightly so.  His insistence that America was not living up to the promise of liberty and justice for all including people of color was instrumental in people understanding that Whitman and Thoreau were writing for all Americans, not just the white men.  

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial