Dreams. Hopes. Prayers. Wishes. Richard has tons of these. He’s got them to spare. Even though there isn’t much hope to go around in the world of Black Boy, Richard manages to hold on to the little bit of a dream that takes him out of the South and into the North. He clutches his dreams even though everyone tells him he’s being daft. Dreams hold Richard’s life together when everything else is falling apart, and even when they’re the thing that’s ripping his life apart. Sure, his life might have been easier without such big dreams—but it certainly would have been less interesting.
Wright suggests that dreams are dangerous. Over and over, they lead Richard to heartbreak.
In Black Boy, dreams are the only thing that Richard possesses.