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I Have A Dream Today

Updated on January 29, 2018

The Relevance Of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In Today's World

It is important that we read Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech "I Have a Dream" again today in this world that is so beset with violence, terrorism and intolerance towards others. His message of nonviolence and love are as important today as it was then during the Civil Rights Movement, especially during the Montgomery bus incident.

Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested in Montgomery then for refusing to give up her seat in a bus to a white man. The Reverend had organized boycott of the buses within 24 hours that lasted a year until the US Supreme Court ordered that segregation in transportation was unconstitutional. The Reverend explained later, "The experience in Montgomery did more to clarify my thinking in regard to the question of nonviolence than all the books I had read. Nonviolence became more than a method to which I gave intellectual assent; it became a commitment to a way of life."

He added: "As the days unfolded, however, the Christian doctrine of love, operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence, was one of the most potent weapons available to the Negro in his struggle for freedom."

Today, freedom is still in peril. Black children playing in parks are shot down for carrying toy guns. A fifteen-year-old is gunned down based on his built and his threat perception to an armed officer. A street hawker is strangulated to death by a couple of well-built policemen in a busy street. But what justifies retribution through killing two innocent policemen having meals in their parked patrol car? They were not even remotely connected to the brutalities perpetrated by their brethren. One was a Hispanic and the other Asian, but Americans and cops nonetheless. Was killing them necessary at all?

While reading the Reverend's speech "I Have A Dream," I was especially drawn to the lines, "There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality."

Can Martin Luther's philosophy still be adapted to the modern world where retribution and revenge are accepted as means of survival? Can we really change the world through love and universal brotherhood? Can we ever be free of the savages that rage inside us, everywhere, every time, and with every breath? We need to read the full speech once again to understand and reaffirm our pledge towards humanity.

Martin Luther King Talks About Gandhi

Violence Is Not The Answer.

Violence only begets further violence. Retribution and revenge were never the answers, and never will be. Peace and greater understanding of others are the only means through which we can root out the evil that dogs our society. As the Reverend had said I Have a Dream, let us all dream to make this world a better place to live and a fitting legacy to leave for our children and theirs. Let us re-learn to exist in harmony with others irrespective of their creed, color, belief or ancestry. Let us time and again read the messages that the preachers of nonviolence and peace have left for us and for eternity. Let us understand what the Reverend had said-"When we allow freedom to 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!"

I Have A Dream

The Reverend's speech delivered on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.,inspired an entire nation to abolish color discrimination from every walk of life. Blacks were considered equal to whites in all respect, It remains to this day one of the most acclaimed speeches worldwide. He inspired an entire generation to look at things differently-that the color of one's skin was just that which covered the surface of the body. The blood flowed in the same color within everyone. He reaffirmed his faith in the American justice system and the founding pillars of its democracy.He moved an entire nation to trust themselves. He however warned the Black people that in their quest for civil rights their path should be nonviolent and their struggle peaceful. He wanted all races to coexist in harmony and walk the walk together.

The part of his speech "There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, When will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality" is relevant even today as it was half a century earlier. However, the Reverend never failed to dream. He dreamt that one day the blacks and whites will sit down together at the "table of brotherhood," and that his 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."


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    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Yes, the present saddens me, but I know I cannot hold on to my past and the present is true and foundation of tomorrow. Thanks Devika.

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      True Devika. I am saddened by the present happenings.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and so true. It is sad of the present on goings.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Hindu proverb (paraphrased) Better to live as a swan for a week than a crow for a hundred years

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      MLK's seems hauntingly relevant after the Paris carnage. One of the greatest visionary leaders perhaps the world will ever have,

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Great reminder of the relevance today not only of Dr. King's words, but of his method (non-violence) also. Violence just provokes more violence. Through non-violence, Dr. King was able to help Americans see the "other" as persons like themselves, who deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect we all want for ourselves.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Beautiful words, my friend. Notice how the most powerful prophets of peace never seem to last? Gandhi was murdered and so was Martin Luther King. It goes to show that there are powerful people who profit on violence and bloodshed, and people like King and Gandhi don't stick around long once they start preaching the gospel of peace. But if we all start reaching out to make peace with our brothers they can't gun us all down, so each one of us needs to be a voice for peace. Great hub!

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Th minorities need to understand that the power of nonviolent protests is much more than what violence as means of retribution can possibly achieve. For one, the aggressors draw international ire and shame, things that motivate dominant societies to re-look their attitude towards minorities.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      The current situation is very sad, and Martin Luther King Jr would turn in his grave. The police need to instill and be given respect but have to also not seen to be targeting minority groups unfairly. We are all equal.

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      Thanks Eiddwen.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful read; voted up, shared and I now look forward to many more by you Dip.


    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      They need to have more community sitdowns and interactions to stop this escalating violence and mutual distrust and hatred. Killing each other was never the solution, and never will be. Thanks FlourishAnyway for reading this.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I worry sometimes about people misusing MLK's mission and words, twisting facts, and now even baiting the police for their own political benefit. It's such a hard job and not exactly highly-paid. There are a small number of madmen out there who are attention seekers, but they get so much coverage. There are so many good police officers that don't deserve the disrespect we are giving them now. I feel so sad that a shadow has been cast on the entire profession. Let there be peace and harmony. MLK's speech is among the most inspiring ever. My daughter and I read the text of his speech every January.