Film Clips

Langston Hughes: “Montage of a Dream Deferred”

Film clip. Voices of a People's History.
Dramatic reading of Langston Hughes' "Montage of a Dream Deferred" (1951) by Danny Glover.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: African American

Activist and poet, Langston Hughes. Photo: African American Literature Book Club.

Langston Hughes, “Montage of a Dream Deferred” (1951)

Langston Hughes saw that after World War II, Blacks returned from war to continued racism, segregation, unemployment, and poverty. They had fought for democracy abroad only to come back home to the United States to find a lack of democracy. In Montage of a Dream Deferred Hughes’ expresses the idea that the “dream deferred” might soon “explode.”

Film Clip Description

Langston Hughes’ poem is read by Danny Glover on May 2, 2007, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union, New York, NY. The excerpt is from Voices of a People’s History of the United States edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.

More video clips can be found at the Voices of a People’s History website and in the film The People Speak.

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