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Harlem Summary & Analysis
by Langston Hughes

Harlem Summary & Analysis
by Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes wrote “Harlem” in 1951 as part of a book-length sequence, Montage of a Dream Deferred. Inspired by blues and jazz music, Montage, which Hughes intended to be read as a single long poem, explores the lives and consciousness of the black community in Harlem, and the continuous experience of racial injustice within this community. “Harlem” considers the harm that is caused when the dream of racial equality is continuously delayed. Ultimately, the poem suggests, society will have to reckon with this dream, as the dreamers claim what is rightfully their own.

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