“What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”

Langston's dream

Happy Monday and encouraging an intellectual Black History Month!

Yesterday was the birthday of poet extraordinaire, 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?

Langston was born in Missouri in 1902. Like many writers and artists, musicians included, of the “Harlem Renaissance”, he was labelled a communist, as well as a homosexual. He never married! My parents left North Florida around the end of World War II … their cousins and dad’s brother, too … and moved into Harlem! They have stories of the “Cotton Club” and all the “Lindy Hop” dance-offs they had …. the “speak-easies” in Harlem, NY … the ones you had to know the correct password to get into … the time of the Harlem Renaissance … and the rise of artists, social activists and Americans … like Mr. Hughes.

I think it is important to remember that events like the Harlem Renaissance are noteworthy of “American History”, much like the back-to-back elections of President Obama. Still, today, some folks prefer the “separatist” notions of “Black History” vs. American History. It is not that “blacks” want to be included in American History, it is a fact that “blacks” are … ARE … just as the POTUS is an American … an integral part of American History. Yet, it is because for many many years, and in the history books, African Americans had only been depicted as “slaves” in American history and the rest was kept out of the history books, distorted in the history books or presented in a one-sided prejudicial fashion, that a “Black History” Month was identified. So, if you’ve an interest in learning more about the contributions of African Americans … other than slavery … there should be a plethora of information available as always, but especially available during this month, Black History Month!

Peace and Blessings,

John I. Cook, Director
Educational Excellence
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