While we have much work to do as a nation to further racial reconciliation, I have the immense honor of witnessing a glimpse of a seemingly impossible dream realized right here under my roof. A dream that includes the day when “little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
In honor of a man who stood on the side of justice and was most certainly greeted with the words, “well done, good and faithful servant,” as he entered heaven’s gates, I wanted to share a few of his profound statements here today. Our family is personally indebted to Dr. King and I pray for the day when the entirety of his dream will ring true across our nation.
Martin Luther King, Jr’s iconic 1963 speech in Washington D.C. is one of the most famous speeches ever, branded the best of the 20th century by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The full text of the “I have a dream” portion of the speech, perhaps the most iconic moment, is below:
“I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, 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, 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 sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brother- hood. 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 . . . I have a dream that one day in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls 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.”
You can find the full text of King’s “Dream” speech at the U.S. National Archives.
I encourage you to take a few moments to also read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” shared today by my friend, Lindsy. This is an open letter written by Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1963 after being imprisoned for coordinating and participating in nonviolent marches and sit-ins against racism and racial segregation in Birmingham. This incredibly powerful letter is well worth the time to read in its entirety.