Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech

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A_Call_to_Conscience.jpgOn August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C. and delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech to a crowd of 200,000 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In the speech, King drew a contrast between the hope engendered by emancipation a century before and the harsh conditions in which African Americans still struggled:

Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree is 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 badly 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 materia1 prosperity. One hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition...

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 foundation of our nation until the bright days of justice emerge...

I say to you today, my friends, though, 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, live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Listen to the entire "I Have a Dream" speech at Stanford University's King Research and Education Institute and read the text of the speech online from the National Archives.

Away from the computer, read his stirring words in A Call to Conscience: the Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or find dozens of other writings by Dr. King at your Milwaukee Public Library.

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This page contains a single entry by Heather published on February 26, 2013 8:30 AM.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the previous entry in this blog.

Birmingham Campaign is the next entry in this blog.

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