Carolina Gracia - Martin Luther King Jr Speech.pdf -...

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Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.:IntroductionI am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatestdemonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today,signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a greatbeacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames ofwithering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of theircaptivity.But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, thelife of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chainsof discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island ofpoverty 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 anexile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shamefulcondition.Body of speechIn a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects ofour republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration ofIndependence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was tofall 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 ofHappiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note,insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacredobligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has comeback marked "insufficient funds."But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believethat there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. Andso, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the richesof freedom and the security of justice.We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency ofNow. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizingdrug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now isthe time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path ofracial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injusticeto the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all ofGod's children.It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. Thissweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is aninvigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, buta beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and willnow be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

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Term
Fall
Professor
williams
Tags
Emancipation Proclamation, Hamlet, United States Declaration of Independence, White people, Figure of speech, Martin Luther King Jr, Negro

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