I Have A Dream

28 August 2009

Today marks the 46th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s "I Have A Dream" speech, delivered at the end of the March on Washington on 28 August, 1963.  (For text click HERE.)

This image is from

Dr. King is of course remembered for his role in fighting segregation in the Deep South of the United States.  In that battle against institutionalized injustice, he was one of many voices.  Some of those voices advocated hatred and violence.  A student of Jesus and of Gandhi, King instead chose to lead his people in the way of peace. 

In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, he wrote: 

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action. We have gone through an these steps … .

The March on Washington was a manifestation of his Direct Action campaign.    

[W]e who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.


These two images courtesy of
Wikimedia Commons

Here is a video of the speech: 

(中国人 If YouTube video is blocked, you can see the speech on Tudou, click HERE.)

This blog entry is also cross posted on my Peacemaking blog, Peaceworks


1 Comment

Filed under Ethics

One response to “I Have A Dream

  1. Rosemary

    This guy was great in some degree and I recited the speech early in my days in high school. Impressive! Really mean it.

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