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: