So you ask what happens to a dream deferred
Langston, well it kills itself... (Atlanta)
Mike references the famous Harlem Renaissance poem, “A Dream Deferred,” by Langston Hughes:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load
Or does it explode?
Hughes writes about the false promises, or broken “dreams,” of a better life in Northern cities, a reality that many blacks faced after the Great Migration. The dreams of jobs and equality were “deferred” or postponed.
For Mike, the American dream is still “deferred” in the inner cities of contemporary US, like NYC and ATL, where job opportunities and racial discrimination still limit equality.
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