Friday, August 28, 2009

“I Have a Dream” – the 46th Anniversary of the March on Washington

On August 28, 1963, over 200,000 civil rights demonstrators marched on Washington, D.C in what was termed the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” At an assembly at the Lincoln Memorial, a sea of marchers called on President John F. Kennedy to provide equal rights to African Americans in various areas of American life that were plagued by racial disparity, including housing, education and employment opportunities. Probably the most famous speaker that day to add his voice to the call for change was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In the wake of our 24/7 media age in which our televisions, radios and computers are inundated with political bluster of innumerable persuasions and throwaway lines, it is truly awesome to take a moment and reflect on words that grow only more inspiring with each repetition. With his voice rising and falling from the palace of justice to the valley of despair, Dr. King made a speech that would cause even the most secular humanists to follow him to the mountaintop. Cloaked in biblical metaphors of hope and frank images of the injustices of African American life, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of an idea almost as old as America itself, the idea of the American dream. Has King’s dream for America come to pass? Does America still have a long way to go in terms of its race relations? Surely this is something we might reflect on today.

Here in its entirety is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech:

[Image via Mentalfloss]

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