Malcom X, etc. Readings

Malcom X, etc. Readings - REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF The...

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REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF: The Heirs to the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. c/o Writers House, Inc. as agent for the proprietor The American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation "The March On Washington Address" by Martin Luther King, Jr. ©1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. Renewed 1991 by Coretta Scott King MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. March on Washington I have a dream. On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 Americans gathered in the nation's capital, demonstrating in peaceful assembly on the mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument on behalf of equal Justice for all. In a day of stirring speeches. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech was electrifying. His soaring eloquence and his conscious fusing of religious rhetoric and familiar patriotic symbols conveyed a prophetic and uplifting sense of a world that might yet be. The "I Have a Dream" speech quickly entered the American language and national consciousness as a pithy evocation of the goals of the civil rights movement. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, 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 captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still 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. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have 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 would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check—a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course HUM 2B at San Jose State.

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Malcom X, etc. Readings - REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF The...

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