Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

No, not MLK… c’mon, have some respect.

Here’s the (, given on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Now that I’ve started to become more familiar with Lincoln, the speech strikes me as very like Lincoln’s work. Not too long. Elegant language. Rich analogy.

> Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions 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. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
> In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Give it a listen. Communication of this caliber is rare. It will be sixteen minutes well spent.

2 thoughts on “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day”

  1. It was a dynamic speech like none other. Ah, I remember it well. (How scary is that?) For you youngsters, it is well worth listening to. PS How ironic for a man like Martin Luther King Jr. who worked very hard, to be celebrated by a ‘day off’…

  2. I appreciate the opportunity to once again listen to a most important speech. He had so much to say, and so much for us to think about this many years later. How far have we come?
    I am always touched to hear these words and to hear the response of his audience!!

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