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You Wanna Be What? Be Realistic: A Reflection on Black Boys Dreaming

by Mike Browne and Amir Gilmore
July/August 2022
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/you-wanna-be-what-be-realistic-a-reflection-on-black-boys-dreaming/5026672/

“Dream bigger, Black Boy, Dream Bigger! For your dreams are valuable. No one can take those away from you.”
—Martellus Bennett, Dear Black Boy (2019)

“I am an invisible man... I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids, and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, simply because people refuse to see me.”
—Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore—and then run.”
—Langston Hughes, Harlem (1951)

Dreams matter. When you were a child, what were your dreams and aspirations? Whatever your dreams were (and still are), dreams are vital for stimulating, nurturing, and sustaining children’s self-explorations, joys, pleasures, curiosities, creativities, overall social-emotional well-being, and love of learning. As two children of Black parents, we were taught how dreams and dreaming were foundational to the Black community. Black dreams are damn-near magical. They can break generational curses, (re)make social worlds, make us visible, help us heal from past oppressions, and envision Black futures beyond the structures imposed upon us. Our parents (and ancestors) undeniably knew how valuable Black dreams were, especially living in a country that ...

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