The view around the block

In her Livejournal, Lyonesse mentions that John Kerry has chosen a slogan, ‘Let America be America Again’ by Langston Hughes. I read through this poem, and it is quite intense, but only if read in the view Kerry wants it portrayed in: “This is about all that GW Bush has taken away from America”. Moving, true, but perhaps unfair to the poems’ roots.
Langston Hughes was a black poet during the great depression, writing during the time of Jim Crow and economic upheaval in the US. A reader should take into account the environment that Hughes found himself in, where the freedom and hope he longed for was simply not available to him in the US. Hughes was also active in the Communist movements, as many were during this time, though he never actually registered as such.
There are many scurrilous individuals who are taking full advantage of this link, yammering that “This proves that Kerry is a communist!” and other drivel. I’m certainly not in that camp, but I feel that any campaign slogan should be also understood in it’s original context.
I think Kerry will do fine with this as his basis, but there’s a lot of interesting details behind it. 🙂


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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2 thoughts on “The view around the block

  1. Oh, and I don’t think he chose the slogan as …”by Langston HUghes”

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