THIS IS THE SPEECH I WANT TO HEAR
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Message For
A few weeks ago, I was browsing around a bookstore and happened upon a parlor game/discussion starter, called Chat Pack (CLICK HERE for a link)
It was the subtitle that caught my attention: “Fun Questions to Spark Conversation.”
Each of the included 156 cards contains one question meant to engage the group gathered in a meaningful conversation. Working through some of the questions with friends the other day brought forth the following card: “If you could hear a speech from the leading figure in any field, whom would you choose to hear?”
Of the four people gathered, three of us had the same answer: Martin Luther King, Jr., and specifically his “I Have A Dream Speech” during the 1963 March on Washington.
What Rev. King spoke that day reverberates – sadly – even today more than 50 years later. Sadly, because the dream of which King spoke has yet to come about. The level of racial injustice and racial prejudice has not been abated. Yes, to some degree, racism has diminished. But, there is still so much that is still wrong – from law enforcement to the judicial system to the penal system…we have not achieved what King presented to us on that day in Washington, DC.
And so – today – on MLK Day, let us take just a moment and consider his words anew. Consider what he wrote and ask this question (not in the Chat Pack): If you had the ability to bring Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream to reality, what would be the first three things you would do?
And here is what he said, in part, 53 years ago:
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.”
To read the full speech, as it was given on August 28, 1963,
on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial ,CLICK HERE