I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech has stood the test of time, and we think it always will.

American LiteratureAll American Literature
AuthorKing Jr. - Martin Luther King Jr.
FormSpeech
LanguageEnglish Language
LiteratureAmerican Literature

Transcript

00:28

be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…”

00:33

“Let freedom ring…”

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“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

00:42

“Would you eat them in a box? Would you eat them with a fox?

00:46

Okay, to be fair, that last one was Seuss. But still.

00:50

It’s been a long time since King delivered that speech…

00:53

…and the world has changed quite a lot.

00:56

But… are blacks “free at last,” as he hoped?

01:01

Is his dream now a reality? Or are we still in the process of waking up?

01:10

One big point in the “reality” column is that we have now elected a black president.

01:15

Not only that… but we’ve re-elected a black president.

01:19

So seemingly we didn’t just vote Obama into office as a social experiment.

01:25

The fact that a majority of the country… however slim… is willing to have a black

01:29

man lead our country…

01:30

…seems to indicate that the ugly veil of racism has been lifted… at least somewhat.

01:36

But does that mean there aren’t others who are still hanging onto a racist agenda?

01:40

Will King’s dream not become reality until our nation is 100 percent bigot-free?

01:47

Most people are pretty good about not hating… redheads, for example.

01:52

But we’re sure there is a small segment of crazy out there who are forming “I Hate

01:56

Ginger” clubs as we speak. Does that mean that our nation isn’t truly

02:00

free as long as there is even the tiniest bit of irrational hate bubbling below the

02:05

surface? Or… are we not nearly as close as we think

02:09

we are?

02:10

True, black Americans have numerous opportunities that they did not have 50 years ago…

02:16

…and they can hold many positions of authority that were previously off-limits…

02:19

…but hate crimes still abound. There are still daily reports of racism-fueled

02:25

acts of violence…

02:26

…and even non-minorities who claim that they “don’t see color” may still harbor

02:32

some degree of subconscious prejudice. So… are “little black boys and black girls

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free to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters

02:43

and brothers”…

02:43

…as King hoped? Does our election of a black president prove

02:48

that we’ve cleared the divide?

02:50

Are a small percentage of haters ruining it for the rest of us?

02:53

Or is the world King dreamed of… still something of a nightmare?

02:57

Shmoop amongst yourselves.