Join our MLK Project: 'I Still Have A Dream ... '

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What is your dream for a better America? 

It was 50 years ago that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the most famous speech of the civil rights movement: "I Have a Dream." With his drumming incantations of hope, Dr. King painted a vivid vision of what America could become. 

"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," he said standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The crescendo of his 17-minute speech is a list of six dreams, that are all really one dream for a better America. There was a dream about children, even from racial strongholds, overcoming an inheritance of prejudice.

"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," he said. 

"I have a dream that ... 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," King roared to a cheering crowd."

His most famous articulation of a dream for a better America is still something we strive for today, about a nation coming to take the measure of someone with fairness.

"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."

King begins this section of his oration with the phrase "I still have a dream." Even when he first shared his dream, it was part of a legacy of American freedom in progress.  

"I say to you today, my friends, so 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," King said as he readied the crowd for his visions of a better America. 



Now, half a century later, WNYC is honoring Dr. King's dream for a better America by asking you to imagine what dreams King might still have today. And what dream you still have, 50 years after the original "I Have a Dream" speech. 


We're collecting your responses on Twitter at the hashtag #IStillHaveADream:





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Comments [11]

Aldith Clarke from Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York 11225

I would apologize to Martin L. King, Jr, for the way how black people associate with each other--even today. Blacks seem to not understand the sacrifices Martin L. King, Jr. made for the black race.

I believe that Martin would definitely be disappointed with the way the young people are dressing (sagging pants)and how some of them are wasting their lives away doing drugs and committing crimes, instead of achieving an education.

Feb. 06 2013 02:10 PM

The continual decent into secularism assures MLK's dream will remain a dream. Simone Weil explains why:

"The combination of these two facts – the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it – constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality. Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect. This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings." Simone Weil “Draft for A Statement of Human Obligations” SIMONE WEIL, AN ANTHOLOGY ed. Sian Miles

Jan. 31 2013 09:19 PM

...that no one will ever have to choose between their family or the person they fall in love with because of religious, race or class differences or sexual orientation.
...that all public schools in this country will have equal resources - i.e. computers, teacher student ratios, books, sports, arts - everything equal no matter the zip code.

Jan. 22 2013 01:00 AM
dbk from Danbury, CT

...humanity will evolve to a stage where the violent, poisonous parochialisms that divide us, are nothing but sad and distant memories.

Jan. 21 2013 11:29 AM
Wqueens7 from Woodside

"I have a dream that..."/
The veil of race will dissolve/
& justice will win/
#haiku #Istillhaveadream

Jan. 21 2013 11:14 AM
Lena from Brooklyn

I have a dream that the Tribal Law and Order Act will be fully implemented and funded, and that the epidemic of sexual violence against Indigenous women by non-Indigenous men will no longer go unchecked.

Jan. 21 2013 11:11 AM
Will from Chelsea, NYC

I have A Dream that one day Gay Equality is equal to all Americans.

Jan. 21 2013 11:00 AM
Freedom Solar Alliances from New York

Freedom Solar Alliances has a dream that one day, we as a people, can come together, to form a movement that revolutionizes equality, strength, financial security and enviormental growth. I have a dream that Freedom can come, from escaping financial slavery, through creating Solar energy to fuel our own consumption. I have a dream that forming an Alliance to fight climate change, can bring ecomical and social change in America.

Jan. 21 2013 10:54 AM
Patricia Horan from Kent, CT

I have a dream that gay black girls and boys will not be forced into homelessness and hopelessness any longer.

Jan. 21 2013 10:51 AM
carl from queens

i have a dream that one day our nation, along with all nations, will redirected the money we spend on guns and bullits, to our common enemies such as poverty, ignorance, disease and mother nature when she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed...

Jan. 21 2013 10:47 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

I STILL have a DREAM that...

...the ongoing theft that is our distribution of income will be recognized for what it is and that average wages and the tax rates will change to reflect those who actually create the wealth of our nation.

Jan. 21 2013 10:43 AM

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