“I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
For many people Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the most influential people in their lives, and I include myself. On this weekend in January, I’m always proud to honor his courage and wisdom. One way I achieve that is to watch and listen to his I Have a Dream speech — you can find it here — and it always moves me deeply.
That speech in Washington D.C. in 1963 declared not only Reverend King’s personal dream for America but also the American dream — which should be everyone’s dream — that all people are created equal and should be given equal opportunities and treated equally. I was a freshman in a segregated junior high school in Florida when he stood before a huge crowd to utter these truths, which for far too many people were incomprehensible and even incendiary. Until then I had questioned very little of what I’d seen or heard around me. For the most part questions would come later, in high school and then college, when I began to question everything. But I felt the impact of the speech even then and still feel it all these years later.
Such a seemingly simple ideal, and yet, after all these years, we Americans still struggle with how to transform that hope into a reality. May we never stop dreaming that dream and working to achieve it. What a legacy for a great man that would be.
The photo above is of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial which was finished just before my husband and I moved away from the Washington D.C. area. If you haven’t seen it I encourage you to make a visit to ponder his words and his life.