In 1951 Hughes published one of his most celebrated poems, “Harlem (What happens to a dream deferred?’),” discussing how the American Dream falls short for African Americans:

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 hughes.jpg
Known as one of the founding fathers of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes continuously fought for social justice and racial equality through his literature. To support himself throughout his early writing career Hughes worked odd jobs in West Africa, Paris, and Rome, before resettling in the U.S. in 1924. 
(Photo: Getty Images)
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