Langston Hughes: Poems

What does Hughes mean by a "dream deferred"?

What dreams could he be referring to?

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The speaker wonders what happens to a deferred dream. He wonders if it dries up like a raisin in the sun, or if it oozes like a wound and then runs. It might smell like rotten meat or develop a sugary crust. It might just sag like a “heavy load,” or it might explode.