King's 'Dream' Speech In 1963 Urged Full Rights For Negroes
NEW YORK (AP)- Following are excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King's "I
have a dream" speech at the the rally, Aug. 28, 1963, climaxing the civil
rights march on Washington:
"Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time
to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path
of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of
racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice
a reality for all God's children.
"There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro
is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to
shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
"And that is something that I must say to my people who stand on the threshold
which leads to the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful
place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
"Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical
force with soul force...
"We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable
horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies,
heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways
and the hotels of the cities.
"We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their
selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating 'for whites only.' We
cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and the
Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
"No, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls
down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream...
"Continue to work with the faith that honor in suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back
to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettoes of our northern
cities knowing that somehow the situation can and will be changed. Let us not
wallow in the valley of despair.
"Now, 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. 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.'
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former
slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
"I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering
with the people's 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.
"This is our hope. This is the faith that I can go back to the South with-
with this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone