The Dream Speech, 50 Years Later

martin-luther-kingOn August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed his Dream of Jobs and Freedom from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His speech was one of the greatest of the 20th century and, to this day, he’s celebrated for his ideals of inclusion and nonviolence.

King was a public figure who inspired millions and gave his life for a noble cause. Although not a perfect person, he had many of the traits we often look for in our heroes. A sophisticated, educated orator and a leader with high emotional intelligence, he was driven by a single vision – to make civil rights a reality.

He spoke about the transformative power of strong personal values:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

 Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

I look to the day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

King argued for integration as….an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity. He was just 39 years of age when he was assassinated, having already inspired a restructuring of civil rights in North America and beyond.

Although the post-racial world hasn’t materialized entirely, the March on Washington did change the course of our country. We’ve made some progress toward equality. But everyone should be able to achieve their dreams.

We’ve all heard inspiring stories, yet there’s still so much hopelessness. Education remains the escalator out of poverty. And children need dads who will make them feel valued and who will marry their moms.

Speeches can only do so much – we’re still trying to realize that vision today. And there’s a lot more work to be done. You may be interested in checking out this websiteIf you have answers about how to reach success in life, why don’t you step up to mentor young people in need. We all have a huge stake in the outcome.

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