Sunday marked the 53rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, which he gave on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963.
King gave the speech in front of thousands of people, both blacks and whites, rich and poor, who attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
According to history.com, “the peaceful rally was the largest assembly for a redress of grievances that the capital had ever seen, and King was the last speaker.”
In one of the most well-known refrains from his speech, “I have a dream, that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed,” King stated. “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. I have a dream today.”
King’s speech is one of the most renowned in history, and, in honor of its anniversary, this year’s presidential candidates have also released the following statements regarding the event:
“In 2016, we’ve come a long way since the days of Jim Crow,” Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton stated, in part, on her Facebook page. “Yet too many Americans still face systemic racism, and constant assaults on their franchise. Something is profoundly wrong when decades after Dr. King addressed the nation, so many Americans still feel that their country values them less, simply because of the color of their skin.”
“Today we honor the enduring legacy of the great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the legacy of all who marched for freedom, justice and opportunity,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated. “Their courage, heroism and sacrifice in the face of oppression is an inspiration to us all. Now, today’s leaders must work to ensure that all of our people can live in safety, prosperity, equality and peace.”
The NAACP has also issued a statement, in honor of the speech’s anniversary, in which it mentions the “flagrant bigotry” that has surrounded Trump’s political campaign.
“We pay our thanks to those who gave their time, hearts, and sometimes lives to the mission of the NAACP these past fifty-three years,” the group stated. “We also call attention to the weighty work we have left to do,and to the tragic continuities in our oppressions: employment discrimination, economic inequality, police brutality, voter suppression, and segregated schooling. With white supremacists surrounding our Houston offices with M16s, a presidential candidate who fuels his popularity with flagrant bigotry, and discriminatory laws that keep people of color and youth away from the polls, we seem farther from Dr. King’s dream of unity than ever.”
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I47Y6VHc3Ms&feature=youtu.be to watch King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in full, or click on the image below.