.. First , I wanted to repost a favourite Newsmax columnist of mine , his niece , the Rev. Dr Alveda C. King , and her column , commermorating her uncle ‘ s achivement …
Remembering My Uncle’s ‘Dream’
Friday, 23 Aug 2013 03:24 PM
By Alveda King
Fifty years ago, a valiant group of people from across America and around the globe embarked on a “March on Washington.”
While there have been many marches on Washington, possibly before and certainly afterward, the 1963 March on Washington
English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. Español: Dr. Martin Luther King dando su discurso “Yo tengo un sueño” durante la Marcha sobre Washington por el trabajo y la libertad en Washington, D.C., 28 de agosto de 1963. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
remains the premier example of how unity of heart and spirit can transform a community, a nation and a world.
My parents, A.D. and Naomi King, attended the March, and were there when their famous brother and brother-in-law, respectively, delivered the now famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Back then, they were marching for jobs, decent housing and decent education. Of course, then as well as now, jobs, housing, and education remain in the category of issues that impact all human beings from a common perspective.
After all, everyone needs some form of income to provide food and shelter, and we all need some form of intellectual enlightenment.
Fifty years later, the March has taken on a different flavor, and is more cause-oriented than the counterpart of days gone by. The 2013 March includes themes that go beyond those basic demands of 1963.
History teaches us that causes can divide people while Agape love can unite. During his lifetime, my Uncle M. L. spoke of a dream. He spoke of a “beloved Community.”
For the last several days, people have tempted me to delve into the political melee about who is right with respect to one cause or another.
Yet, I still cling to the hope that agape love will take the place of political and moral turpitude, and that people will rise above debates about tolerance and reach, instead, for compassion and transformation.
I will join the hundreds of thousands in D.C. over the next few days. I’m asking you to join us, and if you can’t come, please pray with us. Some of the upcoming events promise to be exciting and soul-stirring. As my cousin, King Center CEO Bernice A. King, a convener of the nationwide and global mobilization, says:
“The response to our call to commemorate the March on Washington and my father’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech has been overwhelming.”
She said, “Our coalition has organized a wonderful, diverse program, which begins in Atlanta, continues for eight days in Washington, D.C., and culminates with a global bell-ringing. We expect hundreds of thousands of people to join us in the nation’s capital for this historic event, and many more to take part worldwide in their communities.”
On Sunday, Aug. 25, The King Center will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by participating in a gospel brunch sponsored by the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts at 11:30 a.m. in the grand ballroom of the Willard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. Dr. King put the finishing touches on his famous speech in his suite at the Willard Hotel the night before the transformational Aug. 28, 1963 March on Washington and civil rights rally.
On Tuesday, Aug. 27, the King Center will co-host the K-12th Grade Educational Initiative at the “School Without Walls,” a Washington, D.C., public school. The event is for students, but the public is invited to stream the program by clicking here or by going to: http://officialmlkdream50.com/ . My mother, Naomi King, and my cousin, Dr. Angela Farris Watkins, are slated to speak at the forum that day.
The King Center, along with the National Park Service and others, is co-sponsoring a full day of activities on Aug. 28, the actual anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. There will be an interfaith service from 8:30 a.m. (prelude) to 10:30 a.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 9th Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
That afternoon there will be a “Let Freedom Ring Call to Action and Commemoration Ceremony” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial featuring remarks from President Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the King family, elected officials, international dignitaries, celebrities, youth and leaders from national and international organizations.
The program is global in nature and will include performances by a Haka team from New Zealand and Junkanoo performers from the Bahamas.
Confirmed program participants include Kid President, Jaime Fox, Peter and Paul, Hill Harper, Soledad O’Brien, Lynda Johnson Robb, Bebe Winans, Shirley Caesar, Heather Headley, and others to be announced. A song I wrote, “Let Freedom Ring,” will also be performed that day. For more details, click here or go to http://officialmlkdream50.com/.
Bernice says her father’s call to “Let Freedom Ring” in his speech will be answered with programs and bell-ringing ceremonies across the nation on at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Aug. 28.
In addition to the activities scheduled for Washington, D.C., programs celebrating the ’63 March and Dr. King’s dream and bell-ringing ceremonies have also been scheduled in places as diverse as:
Montgomery, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.; Stone Mountain, Roswell, Rome, and Atlanta, Ga.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Topeka, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Boston, Mass.; Chaska, Minn.; Tougaloo College, Jackson, Greenwood, and Columbus, Miss.; Jefferson City, Mo.; Amherst, Concord, Isles of Shoals, Nashua, North Conway, Pelham, and Mt. Washington, N.H.; New York City and Nyack, N.Y.; Delaware and Granville, Ohio; Allentown, Lafayette College, and Allegheny College, Pa.; Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; Austin, Houston, and Dallas, Texas; Marion Cross School in Norwich, Vt.; and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., with more being added every day.
Bell-ringing programs will take place outside the United States at 3 p.m. in their respective time zones. Activities are also planned in Kathmandu, Nepal; Lutry and Montreaux, Switzerland; Monrovia, Liberia; London; and Tokyo.
In my heart of hearts I truly believe that we all long to be “free at last.”
I’m not sure how many of us remember the rest of the phrase from that speech delivered so long ago:
“Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last.”
As we approach the March and the Bell Ringing Ceremony, let us pray for each other and love one another so that we can ascend above the looming abyss that threatens to reach that higher ground.
Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open-housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King — Click Here Now.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
.. LEC again — he is a hero of mine , too . Thank You , and God Bless You , Reverend Dr. King ! ..
… and here is a printable text version of his “I Have a Dream Speech” …
The Full Text of the Famous Speech by America’s Greatest Civil Rights Icon
By The Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING Jr.
Aug. 28, 1963—
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, 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 a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four 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 the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”