I Have a Dream
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation...
Thus began the "I Have a Dream" speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After reading the entire speech I felt that I needed to print the entire thing in order to do it justice. Probably most have heard parts, if not all, of the speech before. However the average man, if I by way of example fit that category, is so mesmerized by the cadence of the black minister's speech pattern, I doubt the average man ever fully receives the impact or the full meaning of his words. I wept as I read them. If you have a desire to hear those words (the first and best way of experiencing them) or read them (for me a necessity to understand all that he has just expressed), then you can check out this site.
I will quote just a point or two from the speech for those who doubt the integrity or greatness of the man who was Dr. King:
...there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force...
(The magnanimity of this statement goes beyond man's natural ability. I believe it comes from God Himself.)
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
(None of us can go alone. If one group of people is enslaved, then mankind is enslaved. If one is set free, then we are all set free. And rejoice.)
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." ...the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood...
(My family "owned" other human beings at one time. I was actually proud of this fact once. I'm amazed at the arrogance and depravity. Not my ancestors, but my own. And some think that we don't need redemption.)
I have a dream today!
...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!
"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 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...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!
~ to the memory of a great man of God