The poem “Let America Be America Again” introduces a speaker who is most likely Langston Hughes himself. The speaker initially comes across as nostalgic for America and the “dream it used to be” (l. 2). While he expresses his wish to see America “be America again” (l. 1), the speaker makes it clear that the ideal image of America was never his reality: “(America never was America to me.)” (l. 5). 

In the first part of the poem, the speaker claims that he represents the disadvantaged categories of people who have built America, yet who cannot enjoy freedom and equality:

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 ...

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