I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons… Read More I HAVE A DREAM (August 28, 1963)
Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) first spoke of “dreams” in a sermon he delivered on April 5, 1959. His subject that day was disappointment, not hope. He was familiar with Hughes’s poetry (supported by his wife Coretta’s collection and appreciation of Hughes’s works), and, without him, perhaps King would have never started speaking about… Read More Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.
James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902 –1967) was one of the most important writers and thinkers of the African American artistic movement in the 1920s that celebrated black life and culture. Hughes’s creative genius was influenced by his life in New York City’s Harlem, and his literary works helped shape American literature and politics. Through his… Read More LANGSTON HUGHES
Strange Fruit originated as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, as a protest against lynchings. In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, inspired by a photograph of the 1930 lynching of two people in Indiana. Lynching was considered sport in some ways and postcards were taken of crowds of people picnicking under hanging… Read More The poem: Bitter Fruit
Strange Fruit is a song performed by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939. Written by teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem and published in 1937, it protested against American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black… Read More STRANGE FRUIT
Logical connections: Bluebird (Bukowski) -> Blackbird (Beatles) -> racial problems -> B. Holiday (Strange Fruit) -> Harlem Renaissance (Langston Hughes) -> dreams -> I have a dream…
Blackbird is a song from the 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”). The song may have been inspired by hearing the call of a blackbird one morning when the Beatles were studying Transcendental Meditation in India. Adding to the song’s mythology, Paul also claimed to have been woken up, the… Read More the song