Hello hello everyone!!!!!
This is the 50th ANNIVERSARY DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING’S “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH MULTI MEDIA EVENT!!!!
Here’s what’s happening!
I’m going to post the entire 17 minute “I have a dream Speech” in txt. After reading it, I will then right down my thoughts and ideas about it. At the same time, I have also included the actual footage of the “I have a dream speech”. Not onyl that, I have added my reactions, thoughts and ideas video that I created as well.
Therefore, you will have the speech in txt, in video, with my commentary, and my video reaction!
First the txt(Now, I could have put my own thoughts and ideas first…but I believe the text of this speech is really the most important! Please taker the time to read it or just scroll down):
“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.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, 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 their captivity.
But 100 years later, the Negro still is 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 languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve 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 — yes, black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable 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, a check that 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. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and 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 make real the promises of democracy. 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 lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped 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 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.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always 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 the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. 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 our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for whites only.” We cannot 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 jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by 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 South Carolina, 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 — 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. 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.
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 father’s 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, and 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!”
Second the actual video:
Now here is my video reaction to watching the above video. Before this….I hadn’t watched or heard this speech for many years before this. In this video you can see my actions, thoughts, and ideas as I listen tot he speech. Bonus: You can hear the entire speech.
NOTe: I can’t play this video because when I posted it to You Tube it was erased for copyright infringements. What copyright…the fact you could hear the speech I guess. So please check out my facebook page here for the video.
My thoughts after reading and hearing the speech.
First, there are many people who read and listen to this speech, many students especially when I taught it in a high school and a middle school class, and many many adults, who read and recall this speech and see it as irrelevant. I remember when I decided to write this I read it to my friends, their kids, my kids, and a few others that were around they all politely listened and then began speaking of the success and the retro view this speech had.
In the end, I found that because Dr. King makes references to the actions that were normal in his days, actions such as the extreme prejudice in the southern states, the extreme poverty that many of the African Americans were forced to live in, the plights of the “negro” and of course the horrendous Jim Crowe laws it is considered outdated. However, for all that this speech has done we are not finished.
There are still more black Americans in jail than any other race, and are still seen as “the problem” in our society. Look at the statistics of multiple races and the crimes they have done. You will see time and time again, black Americans ARE NOT the ones committing the most crimes or the most deaths or the most violence – yet they have the most representation in our jail cells. Time and time again the black male stands in front of a judge for the same crime as a non-black male and the black male will go to jail 45% more often than any other race.
Let’s not mention, that Black Americans make up the majority of the poverty in our country as well. Many say, well that’s their choice isn’t it. This is the land of the free where anyone can achieve anything. Yes, when your family has lived in poverty for generations and generations, and when your family teaches you ways to “survive” in your neighborhood, when they focus on family over school (like the farmers and very rich do) in order to protect and groom their children for a better life, they are taught specific way of life contrary to that of the “normal American life”. Yes, these kids who might have been born to a parent who is incarcerated or living off welfare because education was never stressed – what will these kids learn? When they see their parents attacked by the police, attacked by the world, attacked by the people who employee them, and then they themselves get attacked by their school mates for not being able to afford the new, the cool, the awesome, the “everyone has it”, stuff…they are pushed down again and again. They are pushed and pushed till they see no way out; they see only what they have been taught by their relatives, peers, and community. They see only the oppressions…and no amount of words a middle class teacher says will change the lessons in their environment or their family. What will those children do, exactly as their very rich very affluent white brothers will do, act exactly as their parents do.
Turn on your TV – turn it on….watch the news. You will notice that the majority of crime stories that are produced involve a black male…the same way as it has been for many years. Ask most middle class and upper class Americans who creates the most violent crimes in our country and they will tell you the Mexican American or African American without even thinking. Check the stats – the reality is that the Caucasian male is involved and committing more crimes than both put together….they just aren’t doing the time for it.
Right here in the USA, as a kid….20 years ago…we had a game we’d play. Me (Spanish) and my friend Chris (African) would go into a store with black sweatshirts on. The store owner would watch us like a hawk. Then our 2 white friends would come in, buy alcohol, cigarettes, etc…and they didn’t care what they were doing, just as long as they didn’t have to take their eyes off of us because we were the “bad people”. But we’ve become better in 20 years right? Nope…same thing happens to this day and kids are exploiting it on Youtube every day.
What this speech is really about is equality and nonviolence. Dr. King asks us to look past the color of the skin, the monetary level of your birth, and the ways people are taught to do things – and rise above all this, to “pull ourselves out of the quicksand of prejudice and absurdity and up onto the bedrock and granite of freedom and brotherhood.” We must not see people for their skin color, for what they wear, or for what their outer trappings portray…instead judge each person on their moral character. We need, no we must, rise up above all this judgment and prejudice and help all people, no matter who they are – not just your friend, your neighbor – but all people regardless of skin color, creed, national origin, intelligence, disease, etc through love and never through violence.
As I read this speech and watched this video, I looked out onto the reflecting pond, the Lincoln statue, and the Washington monument and saw what real people creating change looked like. When we look at that video footage of the summer in 1963 we must remember that this type of thing had never happened before. There was never another group that walked, stormed, marched, or began speeches there. This was the first. As Dr. King says, this is a moment that will go down in history. These people came from all over the United States, and many of them arrived there by foot. They were part of multi-state marches, multi-site marches. They came from ghettos and slums and apartments where they were literally beaten down for their participation. This wasn’t a march to end a disease that we are so familiar with these days…on the contrary; this was a march where your mere presence would cause you and your family unrest. This was a march that asked for you to be hurt by marching in it. This was a march through a south that hated this idea, hated you, and hated everything about this. This was a march that threatened the general structure of the American way itself. This was a march where two thoughts that were created in the 1700’s when the framers of the constitution argued about slavery and the 3/5 compromise was created, finally came to a head. This was a march that asked the United States to Do something; to do something about the atrocities that were happening right then in 1963. This was a march that finally ended a 100 year old problem that was not fully resolved by the American people when Lincoln asked them to resolve it in the Emancipation Proclamation. This was a march to change the cultural fabric of our country. This was a march that reinvented what we see as normal, ok, and the definition of our society.
This march was the beginning of all marches. This march made everyone see that the power “of the people by the people” meant something. It did not mean that elected officials were speaking for us. It did not mean that a government that was elected by the people was going to reach out and oppress those that it governed and supposedly protected. No, it showed American that we as Americans still have a voice. It showed America that the right is still the right and the wrong is still the wrong. Just because you have millions of people saying that the status quo is right, does not mean that it really is. As Gandhi, the great teacher of Dr. King said – Right is right even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. This march showed us all that We The People have the ability to stop and change the world whenever we choose to – and we can do it!
What happened after this speech is nothing more than a miracle. The strides, the acceptance, and the corrections that have been made are so ground shaking that they are merely stepping stones into a future that is brighter and brighter:
Jim Crow laws gone
Complete change of thought towards other races
Today, we live in the world that this speech created. Every time you see a march, you are seeing this legacy. Every time you see multiple races in one spot…together, laughing, and smiling in brotherhood –you are seeing that dream realized. Each time you see multiple people gathering to end a common problem at the foot of Lincoln – you see the legacy of this speech. Each time a repressed person asks for acceptance and understanding you are seeing the dream that still needs to be realized. In the end, this speech shows us that we the people have the ability to change our world for the better. But we must remember – Violence is not the way in changing anything. As Dr. King said,
“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 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.”
We cannot bow down to the incivility of anger, hatred and violence. These are not the tools that will solve the problem, help our race, or create a better life and existence. On the contrary, it is through our peaceful nonviolent way that we will change this world. We must BE the change we wish to see. And change this world we will! As the great document that began America’s journey states:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, which among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.” –The Declaration of Independence
When we, the people, realize that our government or ruling body does not have our best interest in mind – we may change that ruling body. This speech, this march, and this time did exactly that – changed the “normal” for all of our countries, states, and people so that we may all work toward our dreams and create this world to be a better more peaceful place.
Let this always remind you that WE THE People can change this world to become a better place…we just have to want to!