Saturday, August 28, 2004
The Status of The Dream
Forty years ago, today, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, his most famous speech. The “I Have A Dream” speech.
The speech is eloquent, powerful, and not without truth. Many who have listened to this speech, mark the timber of his words, and the emphasis with which King delivered the final four paragraphs of this famous speech. These final four paragraphs are freely quoted, memorialized in songs, providing a sound bite that can be easily recalled.
Unfortunately, many individuals seem to forget the previous paragraphs of this speech. Paragraphs which caution and upbraid, as King states, within the speech, “my people.”
If King’s dream is to reach fruition, individuals of whatever color, would be wise to take the following words from this famouos speech, and apply them.
“But 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 marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to 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 their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.”