As a sick little girl in August, 1963, I was resting at home in Atlanta, GA with an asthma attack, resting on the couch, listening to a speech by an impressive man by the name of Martin Luther King. He spoke his words, “I have a dream,” so eloquently and firm. I was 100% mesmerized. I knew that Dr. King lived in Atlanta, GA and living in the projects, I knew his name angered many people. The early 1960’s angered many people who lived in Georgia. Whenever I spoke up that I loved to hear his speeches, I learned there was a time and a place to speak and around certain people in the South during the Civil Rights movement, it was to my benefit to keep my opinion to myself! Nevertheless, I listened to the speech, spellbound by his words. Years later, taking a class in Public Speaking, the professor encouraged us to find a speech that inspired or changed our lives and to speak about it. Of course, my choice was the speech of “I Have a Dream…” Public speaking is where I excel. I used many of Dr. King’s quotes, especially the ending quotes:
“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!”
Today, we celebrate the birth and life of Martin Luther King. How proud he would be that America has changed for the better. Yes, there is still bigotry and prejudice, but today, the world is still changing. As Dr. King said, “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!”
Let us all appreciate that America is a free nation and we can still have our dreams to build our lives with freedom and pride for ourselves, who we are and the dreams that we all have. “I have a dream…”
Today, I still have a dream, but I am most thankful that “The times are a changing,” and we can look into the eyes, heart and soul of a person, not the color of their skin. Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for what you strived to do to make America a proud and free nation — for ALL of us. I fully believe the Women’s Movement would not have happened without the courage the young women found to stand alone to accomplish their dreams, all to the credit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the leaders who found the courage to walk tall and speak up so America can hear and change the times, allowing us all to have a better life with much success in the twenty-first century. Yes, it is true. I still have a dream — that the glass ceilings will break and women will be treated with respect, not wolf whistles and slurs! I have a dream, that America will stop being so judgemental and look for the good in a person, not the color. I have many dreams!