Sunday, April 3, 2011

Harlem and The DREAMers

April is National Poetry Month, and as celebration I will post poems through out the month of April that are somehow related to immigration.

Here's a particular favorite of mine by Langston Hughes. "Harlem" ponders the question, what happens to a dream deferred? Hughes was speaking about the marginalized and abused African Americans of Harlem and across the country in the 1930s, but I think his words hold relevance to the immigrant issues of today. The DREAMers are young men and women brought here illegally by their parents, who didn't have a say in the matter, who know no other home but the U.S., and who are now threatened as adults with detention and deportation every day. They are not allowed to dream or flourish, go to school or hold jobs, and are like prisoners in their own home. I wonder, what will happen to them if they are given no options?

HARLEM 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?

To learn more about the Dream Act, or find a way to help go here.

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