Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which he delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, on August 28, 1963, before a crowd of 300,000 civil rights demonstrators, became a rallying cry for all Americans. Dr. King possessed a vision of an America where every American enjoys equal rights under the law, where true justice is given to all people and where, “people are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. Dr. King declared that, “we are God’s children and we don’t have to live the way we are being forced to live.” Dr. King said that oppressed people must join hands because, “if we don’t go up together, then we will go down together”, for freedom from oppression is a basic human right enjoined by The Almighty Creator, that must be ensured to every human being.
Today, America has come a long way, yet still has a long way to go. However, the evil forces of bigotry, hatred, and injustice which Dr. King exposed are still at work. The lessons of our recent past teach us that justice and freedom have a price and that sincere faith and consistent, positive action is the key to victory. As Dr. King said, “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.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure known in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.