‘I have a dream’ – Words that still echo in America’s political, social echelons

The world remembers Dr Martin Luther King Jr on ‘Martin Luther King Jr. Day’ celebrated on on the third Monday of January each year to commemorate his services for social inequality, racism and injustice in the American society.

Martin Luther King Jr was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and one of the most iconic, renowned and significant leader in the Civil Rights Movement in United States in the 20th century.

He led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other basic civil rights. King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and later became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

I Have A Dream

He is widely known for his August 28th 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech in during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

“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.’

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.”

Legacy

Martin Luther King Jr’s has become a national icon in the history of American liberalism and American progressivism. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the U.S. Just days after King’s assassination, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

His ‘I Have a Dream’ speech invoked pivotal documents in American history, including the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the United States Constitution.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

The idea of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. Observed for the first time on January 20th 1986. On January 17th 2000, for the first time, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially observed in all fifty U.S. states.