When I was 16, for Christmas, my father bought me a framed picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. It showed his profile with mouth agape as though addressing a crowd in one of his great speaches. At the bottom was the bold print, "I Have a Dream..."
I cherished this picture for a number of reasons. Firstly, as a gift from my father as he didn't often go shopping for us by himself. He said that he saw it in the store and immediately thought of me. The "I have a dream..." statement, just that in itself, felt like it had so much validity in my life at that time as I was trying to decide on University or College or wherever it was that I wanted my life to become past highschool. It is a statement valid for anyone and everyone for we all have hopes and dreams.
And then looking at that picture and my mind would echo with the sound of that voice, crisp and strong in the "I have a dream" speach, those words, and I remember a few of the words from the end of the speach...
"Let freedom ring...and when that happens 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!"
And if you've ever heard any "old-time" preacher you can understand how the words are not just words, they are full of meaning and conviction. The words reverbate through your head and straight to your soul as though a message not only from the mouth of man but direct from God himself. Dr. Martin Luther King, not just a man, but a vessel through which God addressed the people of our nation to make a change and take a stand for all to be equal.
I thank God for these men, and women, who have taken a stand amidst oppression so that my life could be better. Just a young white girl from Canada, never really had to deal with any REAL prejudices, can't ever ever say, will not dare to pretend to know what it was like to be a black man in the southern states at that time or any other, despised for no other reason but the colour of his skin...but I am thankful still because who knows where we would be without a man like Martin Luther King Jr.
Do you think we will ever truly get to the day when we will judge one another not by skin colour but by the content of character?
To read the entire "I have a dream" speach, as you should, go to http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/speeches/