Dreaming Black Boy
The title is appropriate as it prepares us for the aspirations of a boy who is black. The fact that his colour is mentioned in the title suggests that the poem is about a boy who suffers discrimination because of his race.
The poem might be seen as a wish list which draws attention to the areas in which this boy sees the need for change. The word wish is used twelve times. (Repetition)
Stanza one places our young dreamer in his classroom. He longs for the attention of his white teacher who is in the habit of ignoring him (his eyes go past him) even when he does something outstanding, like scoring a goal. He knows that he probably contributes to his own lack of visibility in that even when he knows the answer, he clams up. He feels that since he is in the process of getting an education he should not behave like his woodchopper ancestors who were not educated. He uses this simile to show that he needs to be more confident, assertive and self assured.
Stanza two recognizes how important education is as a means of improving your status in society, and so the boy wants to be educated “to the best of tune up”. Please pay attention to this metaphor. When musicians tune up their instruments, they are ensuring that they play at the right pitch. This boy is ambitious; he wants to be educated to the highest level possible. He knows that if you are educated, you should not feel that you have to “lick boots” (metaphor); that is to do something low, wrong, disgraceful or demeaning to impress someone in authority because you want a job or a promotion.
He wants to be free to travel all over the world without being humiliated by being told that there are certain places that he cannot enter because of his colour. “…no …hotel keepers would make it a waste.” The word waste implies that he would be wasting time, effort and money if he cannot enjoy a trip that he pays for.
In stanza three, he wishes that “life wouldn’t spend [him]...