The year is 1963. It is a sweltering August afternoon and 250,000 people are gathered in Washington D.C. after a long march for freedom.
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, stood Martin Luther King Jr. as he delivered what would be one of the most powerful speeches in American history.
Standing before the crowd, King spoke in hopes of solidifying a future of equality, free of judgement based upon the color of one’s skin.
He began by speaking about what it was to be African-American in America.
King addressed the oppressive past and the progress made since, the social injustices of present time, and took a leap into the future as he vocalized a vision of hope for America and what it could be.
Senior Connor Bodenhamer expresses how he remembers taking a closer look into King’s famous speech while studying the Civil Rights Movement, stating “King’s vision was clear… this speech really is powerful and it has made such an impact.”
Through his eloquent speech, King was able to inform and inspire not just the hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered in the Lincoln Memorial that day, but also those across the country watching on t.v. at home, and for many generations to come.
56 years later, and today, Americans are still remembering the way King expressed his dream of a country free of segregation and racism.
Sophomore Gianina Medina explains the power of the way King spoke, stating “Whenever I hear this speech, I feel moved by it.”
Many Americans agree that the speech can be seen as a national wake-up call for the nation, and like Medina, many feel inspired by it.
King’s powerful words are remembered for helping to positively change today’s circumstances but are also a reminder that there is still progress to be made.
“I have a dream” reminds us to appreciate how far we have come, to always push for better, and to maintain a hopeful vision for the future.
As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, it is a time for Americans to commemorate the lasting legacy of King, reflect on the progress our country has made, and plan for the future.