atlanta’s fifth gift to the world


atlanta’s fifth gift to the world is one of it’s most prized citizens, the reverend dr. martin luther king, jr.

in his most famous words ever uttered facing the reflecting pool with the statue of the man who fought the war to end slavery behind him, the great minister and civil rights leader uttered these words on august, 28 1963 (video and complete text here) –

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little 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.

one of america’s best orators who used his skill not for profit or personal enrichment but in the cause of spreading freedom to america’s most marginalized citizens. his words still ring true today in a time when as partially realized, but with so much left to do.

dr. king ended up giving his life for those beliefs on april 4, 1968. he words should inspire anywhere where injustice based on the immutable characteristics of someone’s birth continue to flourish.

on a personal note. i am white, middle class and protestant. i am as far from understanding personally and viscerally what dr. king spoke about that day as anyone. i have issues with many of the things that dr. king’s successors in the civil rights establishment stand for today.

but i still get goosebumps when i listen to this, or see video of dr. king and john lewis and the rest of the heroes of those days walking across the bridge out of selma. and it helps me to understand both the cruelty and bravery that humanity is capable of.

atlanta’s fifth gift to the world, martin luther king jr.

6 Comments so far

  1. till (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 11:09 am

    I’m completely down with you on the goose bumps!

    I visited Atlanta in ’99 and we went to all the places in the city. Seeing pictures and visiting, listing to speeches. Incredibly how many people he reached and moved.

    I think you won today’s round. :)

  2. james (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 11:45 am

    vielen dank, herr till. er ist unser meiste vererhende buerger gewesen.

    (wow i am sure i murdered those adjective endings)

  3. Annie (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

    Excellent. Well done, James.

  4. ed (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

    i think this should be number one. Just IMHO

  5. james (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 11:16 pm

    well they aren’t really ranked. we each just picked a day and a gift we wanted to write about :-)

    (and i agree with you, ed.)

  6. ed (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 8:23 pm

    well then, fair enough! :)

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