I Have a Dream

 

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50 years ago Martin Luther King’s memorable speech “I Have a Dream” was delivered in Washington. That rallying cry for integration before 250,000 is commonly regarded as one of the greatest American speeches ever given,

Here MLK was giving his American civil religion speech asking his country to live up to its promises. The USA was justifiably ridiculed by the Soviets in the Cold War years as being classic hypocrites. While constantly trumpeting civil rights in its public discourse  it excluded millions of  black Americans from the same. Pictures of dogs and water cannons on citizens, black kids harassed when attempting to integrate schools, lynchings etc were spread by the powerful new medium of television  all over the world.

A powerful challenge was put to America on August  28, 1963. That challenge still stands and for issuing it, King was ultimately murdered. Race continues to bedevil a segregated America.

The speech of King;s was not his greatest. There were many more to come before King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

King stands as the great biblical prophet of the 20th century, a man consumed by spirit fire who clothed his rhetoric with biblical allusions.

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