Written By: Frankie Red Rosso
Today is a day when we celebrate the legacy and the impact of one of the world’s most renowned and well-respected figures in world history– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Iconically known for his “I Have A Dream” speech and for his contributions to civil rights; there is no denying what a valuable and integral part of our Black History he is.
But what if I told you Dr. MLK’s legacy is still prevailing? What if I were able to break parts of his speech into various components and dissect its many deep, meaningful, and symbolic pretenses? Consider it like reading in between the lines…but with more contextual representation– as we witnessed many parts of his speech actually manifest themselves throughout history.
You see, Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t just “Have a Dream”; he manifested his dream to become OUR reality. And when reading INTO the message he was trying to communicate to the masses– you gain such a deeper level of understanding for his passion and vision. So let’s take a dive into the intellectual words of this prominent, prolific historic figure as we explore Martin Luther’s King Jr.’s “I Am a Dream” speech “Beyond The Dream…”
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
Dreams of unifying two races was just the surface level thought to invoke change. To have tied our current state of civil rights affairs back to the unjust times we experienced during slavery; all while speaking life into the future is exactly what resonates with this component of his speech. His dream not only represented marginalized communities but was inclusive of ALL people.
“I have a dream that one 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.”
So granted, the United States is no ‘oasis of freedom and injustice’ because we still have a great deal of social injustices we face. However, for many years America has set the standard on paving the way or being the country to lead by example- for the rest of the world. In this case, as it pertains to racial relations– the likes of this speech set the global precedent of basic civil liberties. Giving people of color across the world the ability to feel seen and heard.
“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. I have a dream today.”
The “content of their character..” is such a powerful assembly of words because it speaks to the essence of his impact. Martin Luther King was a change agent for humanity- not just blacks; people of color; or negros. This context speaks to the anointed side of MLK– seeking into the human side of people as opposed to making judgements based on their appearance on the basis of color; race; attributes; culture; ect.
“I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right down 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.”
His dream was inclusive of children and adults of all ages unifying as one. To put an end to separatism; hatred; and racial division. His words affirmed the importance of being a unified nation and people shed light on the concept of building community- which sparked a global impact.
“I have a dream that one 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 was a dream for the world; not just our nation. All international racial affairs under one roof. Though as a nation, we still have work to do– there is no denying the incredible impact MLK’s dream had in our nation’s state of racial affairs. Let us never take for granted all he has endured for us to stand here as a unified front today. Relentless and restless in his fight…his words were the spark that ignited the flame.
“And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”
A visionary with a one vision for all. Just consider if he would not have spoken up; chosen violence; quit along the journey; that’s why it is paramount we do not rest when passionate about our endeavors– we must march onward!
As we celebrate the legacy of this world-changing advocate for change– let us remember WHY he had a dream. Let’s do our part in keeping his dream alive! The very dream that sparked a global campaign for the equality of ALL people- despite their color; race; religion; gender; sexual orientation; etc. I guess it's fair to say that beyond his dream….lied humanity at the core. And as for his dream…well, that was a dream for all of us to coexist and only the beginning for the state of social justice.
Here are 5 FUN facts about MLK Jr. you may not have known:
- King's Birth Name Was Michael, Not Martin.
- King Entered College At the Age of 15.
- King Received His Doctorate in Systematic Theology.
- King's 'I Have a Dream' Speech Was Not His First At the Lincoln Memorial.
- King Was Imprisoned Nearly 30 Times.