Half a century ago- that’s how long it was since the day the great speaker Martin Luther King Jr graced the world with one of the most powerful speeches in History, which still resonates today in the history books, but in the present day discussions all over the world.
It still is evident today that Martin Luther King Jr was probably and may still be considered to be one of the greatest Civil Rights Campaigner to date with his influence on non-violence protest to stand and galvanise the need for equality in what was a time of great segregation and racial discrimination amongst African-Americans for several years.
With his tireless and countless fight for equality, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Click here for his acceptance speech. from nobelprize.org.
There is still something about that speech that Martin Luther King Jr confidently and so inspiringly spoke of, on this day- August 28th but 50 years ago in 1964- that will always give me goose-bumps in a way that he was saying it in person. You could feel what it meant at the time and the power that emanated from each and every syllable.
My favourite part of the speech is below…
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.
Sadly, a mere 4 years after that great speech, he was assassinated in 1968 at the young age of 39 years old. RIP.
I’ve been listening to discussions about Martin Luther King Jr and his fight for equality and whether what he did then has had any effect today. I hear people say ‘no’, ‘the problems are still the same’ ‘ theres still racism and inequallity’…’Obama doesnt help’ blah blah blah. And I’m thinking- ”we need to actually take ourselves back to how things really were 50 years ago”. Things have abundantly changed- granted, things still have a long way to go- but change is happening but it will take years- maybe hundreds of years- maybe more.
But I think people need to be hopeful and actually more positive. I am under no illusion that because Obama is in the White House, then all of a sudden all races are equal- Obama cannot change the world by himself, but he can and does inspire many and that’s where change has already come and will continue to prosper.
We can always do more individually by being the best we can be, supporting our children so they can be the best that they can be. There are more opportunities, but yes, we as adults and our experiences need to be able to catch them when they fall or when they come up against certain adversities which may be racially motivated.
Lets put one foot in front of the other and keeping walking forwards. Good will prevail. That is my dream.