Frequently referred to incorrectly as "Dreams" or ""Dream Deferred," the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes first appeared in print in 1951. The short poem appeared originally as part of the poetry collection titled "Montage of a Dream Deferred."
Hughes was an American poet, author and playwright who gained recognition for his literary achievements during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. His works are known for their lyrical cadence, and their nuanced presentation of everyday black Americans' lives and their frustrations.
"Harlem" addresses one of Hughes' recurring themes, the limitations of the American Dream for black Americans. At the time the poem was written, racial segregation and discrimination were pervasive in the United States.