Montage of a Dream Deferred was one of the iconic poems Langston Hughes wrote during the days of Harlem Renaissance. The poem is of special significance today when the dream that was deferred has suddenly become a reality. The White American dream was never a part of the Black people’s lives and after Obama became the first U.S. president, the dream has been realized.
Racial discrimination suffered by blacks and their collective angst are expressed conspicuously in his poetry. Hughes, like many black writers and artists of his time, was drawn to the promise of Communism as an alternative to a segregated America. This again is an interesting point to note, because Obama certainly has no communist agenda.
Most importantly, the word ‘deferred’ has been very tactfully and precisely used by Hughes. In the midst of dreams being shattered perpetually and the cruel racial discrimination hindering the progress of the Blacks during his time, there was a positive hope that he dreamt of his people. Perhaps, Hughes’ hopes and prayers are answered by Barrack Obama. Today, Obama heads the World’s most powerful country.
The same white people who possibly have subordinated the blacks have today elected Obama as their President. Change is indeed on its way but one can’t be sure if this would help obliterate the racial discrimination against the black people. Hughes saw this dream coming true from a far off distance long back in the previous century itself. Black dreams took their own journey from being deferred to being almost fulfilled now.
On the contrary, a lot of blacks from America have achieved a lot of recognition in the past in various fields, be it in sports, music, cinema or others but a conspicuous change is brought only by Obama’s success. It is interesting to note that Hughes kept his hope alive for his fellow black people to ameliorate at some point in life. Considering the fact that he lived in a time where racial discrimination was its ugliest phase, it is indeed wonderful that Hughes foresaw a radical change to come from the black community.
Nevertheless, nobody seems to be talking about racial discrimination or the black dreams being deferred. Like they say, “Public memory is short”, indeed, it really is short. The idea of race has dominated politics for long and it is rather interesting how Obama could win the presidential elections in spite of having a tough opponent in McCain.
It isn’t the scope of this essay to discuss if Obama deserves or does not deserve to be in power. However, he certainly helped half of the dream of the Black American President, (pun intended). The dream, perhaps continues to be deferred if one looks at it in its entirety.