From the web site, I know that originally, Harlem was an exiting place filled of blues and jazz music. But Great Depression changed Harlem into a poor and dangerous place, as we know now. Hughes loved Harlem and he lived most of his life in Harlem. He wrote a lot of pomes about the Negroˇ¦s life. Black people loved his pomes and they called him ˇ§Harlemˇ¦s Poetˇ¨. So, this pome ˇ§Harlemˇ¨, of course is about black people.
This pome begins with a question and also ends up with a question. About the body of this pome, Hughes used five things to compare with a dream. What kind of a dream is it? I think it is the American Dream. When the Negro came to America, they must expect that they could make a lot of money and have better life. But the fact is ˇKˇKˇK. First, ˇ§Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?ˇ¨ Raisins are dried grapes. I suppose that the Negro is like raisins. They were thought of as cargo and they worked hard in the cotton field in the burning sun. And it also means that their dream disappeared, like a dried river. Second, ˇ§Or fester like a sore--- / And then run?ˇ¨ After getting hurt, our wound will form scares. But if the wound is hurt again, the sore will run. I think it is like the Negroˇ¦s situation. Then the speaker said, ˇ§Does it stink like rotten meat?ˇ¨ Rotten meat sounds disgusting. Meat is originally delicious, but no one likes rotten meat. The Negro had the American Dream which could not come true. The dream was postponed for a long time, like rotten meat beginning to stink. Rotten meat also can describe black people, because they were low-grade and inferior. The forth one, ˇ§Or crust and sugar over--- / like a syrupy sweet?ˇ¨ All the speaker mentioned above are negative image. Why are these things associated with sugar and syrupy which sounds like something good or positive? I have an idea that maybe the sweet is just coated with sugar. It is only an illusion. Inside the sweet, it is bitter. Finally, Hughes used an affirmative sentence ˇ§Maybe it just sags / like a heavy loadˇ¨. It gives us an unenergetic feeling. Maybe the dream was a heavy burden to black people.
The last sentence is emphasized with italic, so it must be very important. In my opinion, though it is a question, it is also the real answer about the Negroˇ¦s dream. Although, at first the speaker said it is a dream that was deferred. That is because they did not want to give up. But again and again, they were depressed by white people and the whole environment. So they were forced to give up their dreams. Thus at the end, the dream exploded.
I think when Hughes wrote this pome, he must be very upset and disappointed. But he could do a little. Racial discrimination always happens in the world, not only African Americans but also other races. I think all races have their advantages. No races are born to be biased. And no races are superior to others.