A Dream

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to 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!”

–Martin Luther King Jr.

This is one of the most inspiring speeches ever given. Even reading it makes you want to take a stand to be a better man and to fight for those people who are oppressed. We have come a long way since then, but we haven’t arrived. I was born 11 years after this speech and still I grew up with surrounded by words of hate and ignorance. I grew up in a world where racism had gone underground, but it was still there. Years after this speech racism still lived strong only then it was spoken in hushed tones while you looked around to see if anyone heard.

But now, here we are, still not having arrived as a country or as a people, but on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration and I have to say that I at least have hope for our future. Racism and bigotry aren’t leaving the scene any time soon, but in working with teenagers I see a hope that I wouldn’t have imagined even in my younger years. Sure we aren’t perfect. Sure we all are afraid of someone who isn’t like us sometimes, but I think that right now I can say that I have a hope that the world that my son grows up in will be much closer to the dream that Dr. King had all those years ago.

 

6 thoughts on “A Dream

  • January 20, 2009 at 10:46 PM
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    Hi, guy.
    Checking out your site and posts, I thought you would be interested in this message by a pastor friend of mine, Steve Doyal. I thought it was quite compelling: "Smoldering cauldron."
    Grace and peace,
    Buzz

    Reply
  • January 21, 2009 at 6:45 PM
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    Shane, I took and African American Literature class where we studied Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Negro spirituals, we studied speeches from Booker T. to Malcom X. I grew up in the deep south and was ignorant to the inequality that African Americans still face today. These speeches from King and Obama are empowering and I just hope that one day we can really say that everyone is equal- no matter their skin color or religion. I recently read James McBride’s The Color of Water. In the book, young James asks his mother what color God was "God is the color of water." This is such a great and inspiring book! James is a mixed race child and he asks his mother "Am I black or white?" and his mother quickly snapped back "You’re a human being. Educate yourself or you’ll be a nobody." That is the spirit in which we should all live- We are all human beings, the color of our skin is just pigmentation…in it lies no power over one another.

    Sorry I wrote a novel… just feel passionate about this issue!

    Reply
  • January 22, 2009 at 5:32 AM
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    Deanna,

    And you don’t see the "un-empowering" side of Obama’s messages too? That he allows men to pray at his inauguration and say that he hopes one day "whites accept what’s right"? Does that sound equal to you? It sounds like prejudism to me…..

    Reply
  • January 22, 2009 at 4:17 PM
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    Please don’t ask the President to edit prayers. If you do then you are going to end up with a whole other fight on your hands. Sure the whole black back, brown around, yellow mellow, red man, get ahead man, white right, part of that prayer was pretty silly, but there are a whole bunch of people who wanted Rick Warren’s prayer censored too.

    Reply
  • January 22, 2009 at 10:30 PM
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    All I am saying is that pushing that "all whites are racist" mentality from a public pulpit being endoresed by the president is dangerous. It promotes racial division. It does not pull people together. It makes me spiriual discernment sensor go all haywire, and stricks a chord in me that causes me not to trust our….president even more.

    Reply
  • January 22, 2009 at 10:31 PM
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    Because, let’s be honest here, was that man praying to God? I don’t think so. He was pushing racial propaganda pure and simple.

    Reply

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