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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 of hope."

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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These excerpts from the Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech were printed in the Greenfield Recorder on April 5, 1968, the day after Dr. King's assassination in Memphis Tennessee. The original speech had been given at the August, 1963 March on Washington in support of federal civil rights legislation. King justified the goals of the civil rights movement in terms of traditional American values, quoting from the Declaration of Independence, By1968, legal segregation in the South had nearly been eliminated but racial inequality and conflict seemed to have intensified. For many Americans, King's assassination heightened the contrast between the 1963 dream and the reality of 1968.


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"King's Dream Speech In 1963 Urged Full Rights For Negroes" article from Greenfield Recorder newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Recorder
date   Apr 5, 1968
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   4.25"
height   6.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L08.011

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See Also...

"Enemies of the Dream" cartoon printed in Greenfield Recorder newspaper

"Black Tragedy-" editorial from Greenfield Recorder newspaper

"Marchers to Converge on Lincoln Memorial" and "Washington Will be Symbol of U.S. Power Marchers" article in GRG newspaper

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