Martin Luther King Speech


In 1963 Dr Martin Luther King Jr shared with the world his dream for the future. He spoke of a world in which people of different races could live together harmoniously. He spoke about a change in the way that people would look at one another, seeing beyond physical differences and respecting what lies beneath. In the 52 years since the world first heard about this dream so much has changed yet so much has remained the same.

The Speech Itself

While Martin Luther King’s speech is often quoted, it must be looked at in the context of the time in which it was written. As a black man, he was often treated like he was less than human by the very people to whom he continuously held out the olive branch of peace. His speech could easily have been one of hatred and racial superiority but he chose to make it about the need for reconciliation between black and white communities for the betterment of all as citizens of the same country. This made it a rallying cry long after his untimely assassination. He is still ranked highly among the ranks of Mahatma Gandhi and many others who chose peace as a means for achieving their objectives.

The Change

To what extent were his actions truly successful in achieving the dream that he described so eloquently? As a result of the Civil Rights movement the United States of America has seen segregation and miscegenation law overturned, greater rights and protection for minorities. In 2009, a black man named Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th president of America and for all intents and purposes it appeared that the dream had become a reality. Unfortunately institutional racism built upon centuries of white supremacy would be much more difficult to dismantle. Evidence of this can be seen in the number of police brutality cases in which minorities especially black persons were targeted.After a number of unarmed black persons were killed at the hands of the police a movement not unlike the movement of Dr Kings time emerged.

Progress is hinged upon effort. In these trying time persons of varying hues have come forward to inject energy into keeping the dream alive and moving it inch by inch towards becoming a reality. America has come a very long way but still has much farther to go. In spite of the setbacks Dr King would be heartened by all that has been accomplished thus far.