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?
When I think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think about his willingness and the willingness of a generation to sacrifice their wants and their desires as young people for the greater good of their communities and peers.
It really makes me reflect upon my life as a young woman and those of my peers, how willingly would we fight for something we believed in, knowing that in the end, we may never physically see the fruits of our labor.
Being young, having youth, are we willing to give up the pleasures of our own lives in order to see others have access to the American dream: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? How many of us would be willing to be beaten, willing to be accosted, willing to die just to know that your children wouldn't have to experience the same injustices that we have in our lifetime?
How many times have we complained about the current atmosphere of our society, of businesses, of the media, of our music, our culture, our churches, our communities, our families, and even ourselves, yet we have done nothing. We haven't written letters, haven't even sent an email. Haven't even gotten the nerve up to complain to a manager about bad service. But somehow we expect a change.... No one knows what you need, want, or desire unless you tell them. Closed mouths don't get fed...
How do we expect a change to come when we as everyday citizens don't even realize that we have to be apart of that change? Isn't it selfish of us to live in this life daily, with the resources we have and not use them to somehow better not only our lives, but the lives of others?
Is it too much to ask of us to take a moment and stop thinking about brand new shoes and million dollar basketball contracts to think more about the welfare of those poorer than us or be a voice for the disenfranchised?
What has a dream that was dreamed come to be? Yes, we walk side by side, black, white, red, brown, yellow, but we don't walk together. Our voices? We keep them low, whispering behind the safety of our homes, in our separate communities. We're still divided, by class and social status, clothes and cars. The Haves and the Have Nots.
What has the dream that was dreamed come to be? The dream was melodically spoken, demonstrated through the bravery of those who saw a future through the seperate parts they played into a beautiful symphony called Our Civil Rights. We honor a man who was instrument for change, but to which we have failed to join in with his orchestra. So the music stands at a pause... waiting for the next muscians of this generation to begin marching to the rhythm... of the beat.... of Freedom.
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."
Martin Luther King, Jr.