Posted by Børge A. Roum on

Martin Luther King Jr – I have a(n American) dream

Martin Luther King Jr – I have a(n American) dream

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses a crowd. August 4, 1965. Washington Post staff photo by Ellsworth Davis.

Trough our scientific genius we made the world our neighborhood. And now, trough our moral and ethical commitment, we must make it our brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.

Note: This episodes contain two speeches: “I have a dream” and, from 16:30, “American Dream”.

We recently marked 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He is one of the most famous fighters for freedom and justice of all time, and with good reason. Yet, too few are aware of all the interesting aspects of his activism. He did not only stand against racial segregation, but also against wealth disparity, war and all kinds of injustice.

In this episode of Kurator I wanted to showcase both his famous and groundbreaking work for racial equality in the US, and his concern for «all of God’s children». Everybody has heard about his most famous speech, “I have a dream”. But how many has heard it? And how many has heard his other speeches, that are just as powerful? More people should do both. So here I present two of King’s speeches. First “I have a dream”, held in 1963, then “The American Dream”. He held many versions of this latter speech. This version is from 1961.

We must make it clear that the time to do right is now and that the time is always right to do right.

Martin Luther King’s remarks in “American Dream” about time feels especially poignant. His struggle for freedom and justice for all continues to this day. Not even his famous dream of the US as a country where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”, has come true yet, much less has the world woken up to the fact that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

In this light it is worth noting how the government spied on Martin Luther King, and tried to silence him with the information they found. How much easier would this not be today? Maybe you trust your government to do the right thing today, but what about in the future, what about in less free countries? As MLK reminds us again and again: “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”