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Let America Be America
America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the
pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the
dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed
by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land
be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we
(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this
"homeland of the free.")
Say, who are you that mumbles in the
And who are you that draws your veil across the
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,
the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young
man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything
for one's own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the
worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the
people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
worker bartered through the years.
Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so
strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I
meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand
To build a "homeland of the free."
said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have
nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's
almost dead today.
O, let America be America again--
The land that
never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at
the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom
does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
must take back our land again,
I say it
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people,
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and
the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
make America again!
poem is herein reprinted as a public domain document.
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