Let America Be America Again

“Let America Be America Again” conveys the message of the suffering and sorrow of African American who lived through a time of the social upheaval in America by using various literature techniques which supports the content such as positive connotation and the contrast that expressed darkness and lightness of African American. Especially, the most important feature of this poem is the contrast that is displayed by the atmosphere of  whole poem not just a few parts of this poem.   

Firstly repetition is cited as one of the author’s literature technique that displays the contrast. For instance, the author used  “Let America be … Let it be… Let it be…” in the first stanza and also he used “I am the … “ repeatedly in the eighth and eleventh stanza. This repetition produced specific rhythm and organized unity in this poem. And also these rhythms and unity produced lightness and hopefulness so it gives a fresh impression of a new era of America to audiences but on the other hand, it also gives a dark impression because these are irony for the suffering and sorrow of African American who are in the darkness.

Also a title of this poem “Let America Be America Again” displays contrast too. African American was treated harshly  at this time in America however they hoped that America will continue to great success. There is a light aspect such as African American wish for the success of America whereas they are living with discrimination in the shade. We can feel these praiseworthy and mixed feelings of African American from the contrast that expressed in the title.

Of course, there is a description that expressed African American’ suffering and anger directly. In the first stanza, a person is speaking like full of hope for America but depressed feelings and anger of African American are expressed as the poem goes on. Is not “the free” given to everyone equally?  Why do we (African American) need to suffer when other people (White people) are given “the free”? The contrasts that were expressed by an atmosphere of whole poem asks the real meaning of “the free” to audiences.


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