The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Featured Story

August 27, 2013

50 years after: King’s dream work in progress

Dreams are funny things.

For starters, there are many different types of dreams.

There are the kind you have when you’re asleep, and involve falling, flying, being chased and going to work or to school buck naked.

Then there are the kind you have when you’re awake. Some of these involve things that could come true, like getting a college degree, finding Mr. or Miss Right, finishing a marathon, growing a prize-winning rose, having children or breaking 80 on the golf course.

PDF transcript of full speech as delivered Aug. 28, 1963 | Photo slideshow of March on Washington

Then there are those wide-awake dreams that could come true, but likely won’t, like becoming a famous athlete, making it big in Hollywood, dating George Clooney, winning “American Idol,” earning a Nobel Prize (or, in the case of ink-stained wretches like me, a Pulitzer Prize) or becoming president of the United States.

These are all dreams with a narrow focus, directed toward ourselves. There also are broad, wide-ranging dreams that not only change lives, but the course of human history.

Such was the dream Martin Luther King Jr. expressed a half-century ago today, as he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, looking at a sea of people sprawling across the national mall as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The speech has become known as the “I have a dream,” address, but the concept of dreams was not in King’s original script.

About midway through the speech, a voice rang out. It was that of the great gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson.

“Tell them about the dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream.”

At that point, according to witnesses present that historic day, King pushed aside his prepared notes and began to speak off the cuff. In fact, he was no longer speaking, he was preaching.

Up to that point, it was a perfectly fine speech, one that would have undoubtedly been remembered as a footnote to the civil rights movement of the early 1960s.

But when he began to talk about his dream, King’s speech ascended to another level. He began to tell the world of his dream that the color of one’s skin would make no difference, none, in the life of any American, and that all men and women, of any color, would be able to live their lives proud of their race, not burdened by it.

King’s dream has yet to be realized. This country has made great strides, to be sure. People of color are no longer denied the right to vote, to live where they choose, to eat in restaurants or stay in hotels when and where they want, to attend the university of their choice or to send their children to any school. The president of the United States is a man of color, as are other leaders in politics, industry and medicine, as well as the arts and athletics.

Text Only
Featured Story
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
House Ads
Facebook