Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr.--A man of, and before, his time

There's always something new, even in history. As we've been reminded today how rhetoric can inspire and uplift by listening to Martin Luther King Jr.'s most reknowned oration, I Have a Dream, the BBC has unearthed a 1964 video of Dr. King in which he predicted that in less than 40 years, a Negro would become President of the United States. (He actually said that it could happen in 25 years.) Optimism, confidence, and ability to take the long view are what made King a visionary.

(Full-length video of Dr. King giving his speech, I Have a Dream.)

King believed that the struggle for racial justice in the United States was related to other struggles worldwide, and correctly noted that apartheid would end when Western nations decided to stop economic relations with South Africa. (Text via the ANC's site, although I originally read it years ago from the excellent compilation of Dr. King's speeches and writings, A Testament of Hope.)

Dreamer that he was, King knew that dreams take hard work to become reality. Let the work continue.

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