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Citizenship

Reimagining MLK's I have a dream speech for today's world

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

Martin Luther King, Jr. began his iconic speech in the oppressive heat of Washington, DC on August 28th, 1963, by stating, “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”

He spoke at a time when the country was suffering from grave injustice, where the streets were filled with hate and violence. It’s hard to imagine the amount of courage and dedication he must have had to fight for a world he could only imagine in his dreams.

Today, the news is still plagued with discrimination, sexism, racism, violence, and injustice. At times, the concept of a peaceful world can be almost impossible to imagine.

So as we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. it seemed almost necessary to take the most powerful messages of his  “I Have a Dream Speech” and attempt to write a message encompassing both our own global goals and the dreams of the contemporary world with the words that Dr. King spoke 53 years ago.

I have added my own humble additions to his words, with his original words highlighted in red.

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Today we stand together, as a generation, that can end extreme poverty. 

This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

There is no better time than the present to make our voices heard. To stand tall for the values of equality we believe in.

As we stand strong together to attain what is right and just,  

We must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must remember to keep an open mind and soul, envisioning a world where hope and love will restore humanity.

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In order to reach the utopian state we desire, the nations of the world will need to work together.

Futhermore, we must not soley rely on world leaders to attain peace and prosperity. We must make an effort in every community, every relationship we come into, to bridge the gap that seperates us. 

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a 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 by 2030, the world will achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification.

I have a dream that one day “75 cents to the dollar” will be but a distant phrase. A phrase no longer entertained because women and men are earning an equal wage for the same job. 

I have a dream that by 2030, discrimanation against girls and women will be eliminated everywhere. 

MLK Speech 2016- Body Image 2.pngImage: Flickr

I have a dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream that right there in the Middle East, Israelis and Palestinians will join hands in solidarity and understanding.

Israel_Palesting_Peace_Treaty_Handshake.PNGImage: WikiCommons

I have a dream that all peoples divided by race, class, or religion will one day look back at the turmoil of today and not understand how we couldn’t see our shared history of humanity.

I have a dream that the Global Goals for 2030, set for us by the leaders of the world, will become more than just a goal--but a reality.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.

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I have a dream one day no animal, whether on the earth, in the sky, or in the sea, will ever face extinction again.

I have a dream that by 2030, the world will achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.

With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith, we will be able to bring the benefits of modern health to those with the most need.

With the hope of a better world, we can make this dream a reality.

With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And when the world accomplishes this, that is when we will ring the bell for all humanity.

When we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, 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!

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Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy by going to TAKE ACTION NOW and calling on today's leaders to embrace a world of equality.


Written by Miquel Gabbidon