“I Have a Dream” 50 years on

Fifty years ago today, at the culmination of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Martin Luther King delivered his, “I Have a Dream” speech. Maybe it’s worth stopping to listen, once again, to his words.

Because as Jim Wallis contends,

The events of this summer – from the gutting of the Voting Rights Act to the Trayvon Martin murder trial outcome – demonstrate that the work toward racial justice is still not done.

Here in Canada, in light of new and recent revelations concerning our past treatment of aboriginals, and in light of the real disparity (in opportunity and understanding) between our communities, its obvious we have our own work to do.

Perhaps in these words of MLK, we may find the personal resources to carry the work forward.

The beauty, insight and genius of this speech is that it allows us inside—allows us in some remedial way, to become “black slave,” (“residential school survivor”).

The revelation comes slowly but forcefully, that oppressors, those in power, those of us who can act, but are unwilling, are also enslaved, un-free, self-oppressed, blind. For only in true equality is true freedom found.

Perhaps through these words, we may gain renewed and greater empathy for our own walk toward truth and reconciliation.


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