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Old 08-28-2003, 06:53 PM   #1
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I Have a Dream

If you didn't know, today is the 40th anniversary of the delivery of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. If you're not American or just have never familiarized yourself with this amazing piece of prose, here it is, and think on it.

~~~~~
I Have a Dream

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. 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.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, 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 slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four 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 the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, 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. This is the faith with which I return to the South. 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.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a 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. 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 snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks 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 every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let 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!"
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Old 08-28-2003, 06:56 PM   #2
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thanks pax.
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:52 AM   #3
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You're welcome.







It got buried, though.
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:01 AM   #4
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thanks pax!!

I would just like to add these:

MLK


Sleep
Sleep tonight
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thunder cloud
Passes rain
So let it rain
Rain down on him
So let it be
So let it be


Sleep
Sleep tonight
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thundercloud
Passes rain
So let it rain
Let it rain
Rain on him


AND

Pride (In the Name of Love)


One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow


In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love


One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss


In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love


(nobody like you...)


Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride


In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love...
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:26 AM   #5
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It's great to read, but it's the way it's delivered that makes it really really great, so if you haven't heard it you should.

It's a shame that no-one makes great, memorable speeches anymore (for any reason). I guess it's a mix of can't be bothered, the 'speech' doesn't mean that much anymore because of the way the media handles it (3 second grab on air), and we are all too sceptical and cynical of anyone with any power, so even if they are saying great things we are not looking for that, just stuff to rip them apart with.

Back to MLK and this speech, I was reading an article in the paper about the 40 year anniv. and it was saying that he got a C for public speaking in high school.
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Old 08-29-2003, 05:27 AM   #6
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What a great orator. Thanks Pax.
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:39 AM   #7
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Amazing. We need another leader like him. There just isn't one.
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:02 PM   #8
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Amazing. Just amazing.
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:13 PM   #9
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Here's an interesting question for all of you: if MLK Jr. had not been assassinated, do you think within maybe 10 or 15 years of having delivered that speech, he could have been elected to Congress and later the Presidency?
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Old 08-29-2003, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
Here's an interesting question for all of you: if MLK Jr. had not been assassinated, do you think within maybe 10 or 15 years of having delivered that speech, he could have been elected to Congress and later the Presidency?
Yes. Remember, he was only 39 when he was assassinated. This assassination is one hell of a "what-if" heartbreaker.
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Old 08-30-2003, 06:57 AM   #11
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I think it would have been quite likely he would at least have been a serious contender. It would have been roughly the early 80's? Give or take. Depends on what he could do in more areas than what he is really known for, but anything is possible.
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Old 08-30-2003, 05:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by TylerDurden
It's great to read, but it's the way it's delivered that makes it really really great, so if you haven't heard it you should.
I definately agree

it's half a sermon
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Old 08-30-2003, 05:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
Here's an interesting question for all of you: if MLK Jr. had not been assassinated, do you think within maybe 10 or 15 years of having delivered that speech, he could have been elected to Congress and later the Presidency?
No, because his immortality is in his death, in the same vein as the assassination of John F. Kennedy propelled him to be "one of the best presidents ever" and the destruction of the World Trade Center has since made it an unofficial "Eighth Wonder of the World."

In other words, if Martin Luther King, Jr. had never been assassinated, he probably would be as much of a divisive figure as Jesse Jackson, who, lest we forget, was one of his contemporaries.

There is still, perhaps oddly enough, a mystique associated with sudden tragedy, and we all become very nostalgic and, in many cases, romanticist.

Melon
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Old 08-30-2003, 08:46 PM   #14
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Great thread, pax.
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