I have constantly been asked “what are your thoughts on Baltimore” and I have simply responded with Langston Hughes poem “A Dream Deferred”.
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?
Baltimore in my eyes is the answer to Langston’s question. A dream deferred explodes and Freddie Gray was the spark that ignited the stock pile of explosives that has been created by the countless number of dreams deferred in Baltimore and other inner cities across America.
The importance of dreams and hope are pivotal to our well-being but seemed to be forgotten when speaking of Baltimore. I once read “a man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope”(Hal Lindsey). Baltimore has been dead for a while and a conviction won’t bring it back to life. Baltimore like so many other urban inner city areas needs what is essential to all of our lives…dreams and hope.
Baltimore highlights the need for us to continue to dream and find things to hope for in our lives. It’s a reminder of the importance of encouraging the dreams of others and essentiality of helping to inspire dreams where they have been deferred.