10/23/2008

Martin Luther King, Jr: I Have A Dream

On 28 Aug 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington D.C. & delivered one of the best speeches ever; aptly known as the "I Have A Dream" speech, he spoke of his dreams for the future of Americans living together in harmony with equal rights. I've heard it on the Oprah Winfrey Show (yes it's true haha) & I'm not ashamed to say that it made me cry. I'm just gonna put the best parts (in my opinion here):

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, 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!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

This speech is beautiful because of several reasons:
  • It inspires us to forget the differences between us & to live together in a world of harmony & peace
  • We should work together to create a world where we need not know the meaning of the words "discrimination" & "hatred"; to eliminate racism from our world.
  • He spoke of freedom, not in the literal sense but also conceptual: freedom from discrimation, anger; this is especially meaningful where we have more people emerging with new & striking personalities, often receiving negative criticism for it.
  • We should think of the future of our children & put the negative ideas of the past behind us.
Full text here

An amazing speech: it's inspirational, uplifting & the values he imparts is universal; we all can learn from it :)

5 comments:

david said...

Dream~
If not because of him, black and white man won't be live in harmony like now a days..
He is a great leader for us to learn for!
Hey, he really BRAVE enough to stand up for the black man in a discriminating country for tat time..
SUPERMAN!! (jk :p)

rowan said...

Very true, David, if you read the rest of his speech, you'll see what an inspiration he is to so many people today :)

aMMerZ said...

The truth Unsung Hero for White & Black people..take a few second to think, why in Malaysia We don't have such hero like that?? CONFUSED..huhu

tianwen said...

In Malaysia, our education level still consider very low..as a 'well educated' undergraduate how many books (nt include d text book 4 subject)hv v read per yr? Our information n knowledge mainly depends on newspaper while d same time press s undercontrol of political party. Same wif d secondary Sejarah Text book Our mind, d way of thinking s fully restricted n controlled...
What can u expected from those 'worms' who r taught to think by colours?
The Race issues s d best way to get corruption n make their pocket full....NEP helps d politicians like Abdullah, Mahathir's son...Najib's brother, MCA Lim's son to be millionaire( sorry, s billionaire) .....Race s d best excuse for them to divide d treasure among themselve....S fair enuf, Lim's son(chinese), Samy's son(indians) ...Who willing/want to make a change? Sorry to tell u tat, i like n nid money very much too......

Rwi Hau said...

apparently, here in malaysia, non-malays aren't given the chance to take up the prime minister post. is it fair enough for me to say that the non-malays here are still being subjected to oppression? being treated as second-class citizens? oh hang on, i have a better term, being relegated? do we have to thank people of that ungrateful clan by feeding them relentlessly while they do nothing but keep barking at us? do we have to thank them by contributing to the country and getting nothing in exchange except for a lousy and guilt-ridden citizenship? i really hate it so much when some people do not realize the fact that they are being racist but maintaining their harsh criticisms toward other countries for their mistreatment of minorities.