It seems almost a sacrilege to write anything about the “I Have a Dream’ speech. What is more compelling? I’ve used that speech so many times to teach writing, to teach how to marry passion and political practicality. My students have memorised it. I’ve internalised it. And now, 50 years later, we need it more than ever.
If you are one of those Americans who believe that all people are equal now, and that race is a problem of ‘then,’ not ‘now,’ you might as well click elsewhere. I don’t share your optimism. My own experiences — often recounted in this space — show me that racism and lack of opportunities based on racism are alive and doing very well in America today.
So I’d like us to take a moment to really READ Martin Luther King’s momentous, historically profound speech. Here it is, in its entirety. Read it, and remember: 50 years ago, and it is as necessary a speech today as it was then.