I Have A Dream, 1963, by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [7 min]

I am happy to join with you today

In what will go down in history

As the greatest demonstration for freedom

In the history of our nation.

5 Score years ago,

A GREAT American,

In who's symbolic shadow we stand today

Signed: The Emancipation Proclamation

This momentous decree came

As a great BEACON light of hope

To 1,000,000's of Negro slaves

Who had been seared

In the flames of withering injustice

It came as a joyous daybreak

To end the long night

Of their captivity.

But 100 years later

The Negro still

Is not free

100 years later

The life of the Negro

Is still sadly crippled by:

  • the manacles of segregation, and
  • the chains of discrimination

100 years later

The Negro lives

On a lonely island

Of poverty.

I have a dream

That 1 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 (and women) are created equal.

I have a dream

That 1 day

On the red hills of Georgia

  • the sons of former slaves, and
  • the sons of former slave owners

Will they be able to sit down together

At the table of brotherhood

I have a dream

That 1 day

Even the state of Mississippi, a state:

  • sweltering with the heat of injustice
  • sweltering with the heat of oppression

Will be transformed into an oasis of:

  • freedom and
  • justice

I have a dream

That my 4 little children

Will 1 day live in a nation

Where they will not be judged:

  • by the colour of their skin
  • but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream

That 1 day

Down in Alabama

With its vicious racists

With its Governor

Having his lips

Dripping with the words of:

  • interposition and
  • nullification

1 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

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that 1 day

Every valley shall be exalted

Every hill and mountain shall be made low

The rough places will be made plain

And the crooked places will be made straight

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed

And all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope

This is the faith that I 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

With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation, into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith, we will be able

  • to work together
  • to pray together
  • to struggle together
  • to go to jail together
  • to STAND UP for freedom together

Knowing that we will be FREE 1 day.

This will be the day when all of God's children

Will be able to sing with new meaning:

  • My country 'tis of thee
  • Sweet land of liberty
  • Of thee I sing
  • Land where my father's died
  • Land of the pilgrim's pride
  • From every mountain side
  • Let freedom ring.

And if America Glow is to be a GREAT nation

This must become TRUE

And so...

Let freedom ring, from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire

Let freedom ring, from the mighty mountains of New York

Let freedom ring, from the heightening alleghenies of Pennsylvania

Let freedom ring, from the snow-capped rockies of Colorado

Let freedom ring, from the curvacious slopes of California

But not only that...

Let freedom ring, from stone mountain of Georgia

Let freedom ring, from lookout mountain of Tennessee

Let freedom ring, from every hill and molehill of Mississippi

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens...

When we allow freedom ring

When we let it ring:

  • from every village and every hamlet
  • from every state and every city

We will be able to speed up that day

When ALL of God's children:

  • Black men and White men
  • Jews and Gentiles
  • Protestants and Catholics

Will be able to join hands

And sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

  • Free at last
  • Free at last
  • Thank GOD Almighty
  • We are FREE at last!

700 words, 7 min, 100 words p/minute

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