I Have a Dream
Oppression. I do not understand this concept. Why does it exist? I don’t want to stand on top of a soap box and preach about all the things wrong in our world, and all of the people who are mean to other people, but we do need to remember where we have come from.
In my American Lit class, (you can read more about what we’ve discussed, here) we recently read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I had never watched a video of him giving the speech before (I know, it’s disappointing), but after hearing my professor say it was sort of an American rite of passage, I thought I’d take a look. I was not disappointed. What that man did for our country cannot be aptly expressed in any words of mine. Dr. King was a martyr for equality. I don’t consider myself an easily “moved” person, but you take a look at that speech and the context in which it was given, and it is impossible to stand stoic.
That man stood before a quarter of a million people, and he preached about a subject that had been brushed under the rug for literally centuries. He died for his cause. He was killed because someone wanted him to shut his mouth. Well you know what?
I’m glad he didn’t.
I wish to God he could have seen a few more decades, but his life still stands today as an example of what an American should be. He approached the leaders of our country and he let them have it. He brought to their attention three of the most important documents of our country,
and he reminded them of what they said.
I can’t begin to understand the trials that were endured to bring Civil Rights to our country, but I can appreciate the people who brought them. We have not always been an equal country, and in some places, we may have a ways to go, but Dr. King took us a few miles in the right direction, and I tip my hat to him for that.
Instead of ending with my regular close, I think this may be a little more appropriate for the subject matter:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal.” – The Declaration of Independence