DREAMING BLACK BOY INTRODUCTION I believe that we all dream when we are asleep. Most of these dreams have very little basis in reality. But there is another kind of dream which is based on our experiences. This is a longing, a hope or a wish for something that is lacking. You may dream of the day when CXC is finished so that you may have long periods of uninterrupted sleep. For those whose parents are working overseas you may dream of the holidays when your parents will visit or be home for good. What are some of the things that you dream of doing / being / having? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S.A. during the 1950’s and 1960’s. He lived in an environment that was similar to that of the boy in this poem. He had a dream that was memorialized in a famous speech. Among the things he dreamt was that his little children “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” In trying to fulfil this dream Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. Please read the full text of I have a dream. You may find that reading about the horrific murder of the 14 year old boy, Emmett Till in 1955, puts the fears and concerns of the persona into context. TITLE The title is appropriate as it prepares us for the aspirations of a boy who is black. The fact that his colour is mentioned in the title suggests that the poem is about a boy who suffers discrimination because of his race. CONTENT The poem might be seen as a wish list which draws attention to the areas in which this boy sees the need for change. The word wish is used twelve times. (Repetition) Stanza one places our young dreamer in his classroom. He longs for the attention of his white teacher who is in the habit of ignoring him (his eyes go past him) even when he does something outstanding, like scoring a goal. He knows that he probably contributes to his own lack of... [continues]
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