Let America be America Again
by Langston Hughes
woodcuts by Antonio Frasconi
February 21, 2005
Hardcover, 22 pages
11.8 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
$29.95 (Can $34.95)
World-renown poet and master of prose Langston Hughes enlightened Americans nationwide when his poem “Let America Be America Again” appeared in 1936. Today, more than half a century later, this poem’s insights into American society and its dream of social justice continue to resonate powerfully among readers. In celebration of the poem’s inspiring message, artist Antonio Frasconi illustrated Hughes’s poem with thirty-two woodcuts in an extraordinary limited-edition artist’s book, adding a rich visual dimension to the poet’s verses. Henry Louis Gates Jr., noted scholar and W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, contributed a foreword.
A popular edition of this work, Let America Be America Again brings their important collaboration to a wider audience, faithfully reproducing the intricacy and subtlety of Frasconi’s original prints. Each coupling of image and stanza conveys Hughes’s—and Frasconi’s—dream of justice for all with compelling force. A call to fulfill this country’s potential for greatness, Let America Be America Again will touch every American who reads its pages.
One of the most prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes (1902–1967) captured a diverse audience with his vivid and honest writing. His best school was the world, in which he traveled widely and well, bringing together in his varied and colorful writings the experiences of a profitably restless life.
Throughout his career as a printmaker specializing in woodcuts, Antonio Frasconi has published hundreds of prints and folios and has illustrated numerous books. His work ranges from landscapes to images on social and racial issues. Frasconi has taught at the Brooklyn Museum School, the Atlanta Art Institute, and the State University of New York at Purchase, where he is an emeritus professor. He lives in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. has brought awareness of the importance of African-American studies to the forefront with his work as an editor, writer, critic, and lecturer. Today, he continues his work as Chairperson of the Afro-American Studies Department at Harvard University, as well as W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research.