Still Deferred; Still Dreaming

Title:  Still Deferred; Still Dreaming

Site:  Washington Boulevard and Sacramento Avenue, Chicago

Artists:  Olivia Gude and Dzine

Assistants: Brian C. Morris and Solo (spray can artist)

Community Participants: Twelve youth artists

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group and the Martin Luther King Boys and Girls Club

Year:  1993

Scale:  27 ft. x 90 ft.

Materials:  Spray paint and acrylic on brick

Information:  This first in a series of collaborations between Gude and spray can artist Dzine appears to cling to the corner of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Boys and Girls Club. Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of King’s “I have a dream” speech, the mural also asks Langston Hughes’s question, “What happens to a dream deferred?”

The work includes graffiti-style lettering, naturalistic portraits of King and Gandhi, and quotes by many Africans and African Americans on the importance of dreams and dreaming. Silhouettes of civil rights advocates designed by neighborhood teens and children march throughout the work.

Pearl Cleage’s question, “What do you pack when you pursue a dream and what do you leave behind?” suggests that each person must learn how to honor cultural legacy and be open to new ideas and new values.