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This upcoming midterm election has been the focus of all of the political pundits. And there is a rising concern about voter turnout among African Americans.

There are those who want to privatize Social Security, repeal our comprehensive health care law, and continue tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent in this country. We have suffered too long and struggled too hard to turn back now. Too many folks were beaten and jailed. It is a sad truth that too many lives have been lost.

Our poet Langston Hughes comes to mind, whose fealty to our nation’s ideals is legendary. In 1938 Esquire published “Let America be America again,” which included the line, “O yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, and yet I swear this oath --- America will be.”

It is my belief Langston Hughes embraced the ideal of America, an ideal that we have the opportunity to reclaim with our voter participation on Nov. 2.

We in the United States possess the greatest resource and wealth ever known to human kind, so to have over 44 million people -- 14 percent of our population and 20 percent of our children -- living in poverty strains the soul of America. This is a disgrace for the land of the free and home of the brave. If African Americans do not vote, we repudiate its energy and ideals.