Racism in Harlem by Langston Hughes

688 Words Jan 25th, 2018 3 Pages
We strive to one day have these ideas become our reality. But what happens to us when those very dreams fail to take form, when our desires and plans for achievement are halted before they reach fulfillment. When they experience temporary or even permanent deferment? When we lose our hope in our dreams it only concludes to us becoming reluctant to dream again, unsettled with the outcome, and feeling defeated. Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem” depicts a subtle but very vivid picture of the human reaction to unresolved dreams. The name of the poem itself is the biggest clue to its true meaning. It points to the historical part of New York called Harlem. Why title the poem Harlem if it doesn’t discuss Harlem at all. That is the point, it does describe Harlem. At the time the poem was written, Harlem was a place where African Americans were mocked and denied in society. The "dream" that Hughes was referring to could be any type of dream but given that he wrote this during the Harlem Renaissance, it probably refers to the dream of freedom, equality and dignity, and of a better life that many Southern Blacks carried with them to the North. America at the time was known as the land of opportunity, where dreams came true. However, for blacks during this time, that was not the case. While technically free from slavery. Racism, poverty, and social injustices enslaved the black people and made it difficult if not…