Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to a cause he felt was worth fighting, yet he never believed in violence. He was one of the greatest orators, but he was reluctant and could be shy. People oppressed saw in him the possibility. He gave them hope, for he was brave and determined. He led a march on Washington that changed the world, although he may not have seen it that way at the time. He is the voice of many today as he was the day he uttered the words “I have a dream.” And did he ever? His words are inspiring, poetic and proud. These passages are my personal favorites from that historic day. Many resonate so much today.
- 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.” (Today that dream has become reality)
- 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.
- 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 every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
- And when this happens, when we allow freedom to 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!”