Today is April the 4th.
Today is the 43rd anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Junior.
He is very famous for many things, and one of them is that he was an exceptionally good speaker of English. He gave many great speeches where he made people feel proud, and strong, and capable of doing great things. Eventually many of those people did become proud, and strong, and did do great things.
Perhaps his most famous speech is the one where he said: “I have a dream…” and then continued by talking about all people being created equal, and, more importantly, all people actually treating each other as equals.
When I look at the video clip of the very huge crowd of people who came just to hear him speak, I am reminded of the enormous groups of people I have seen in Korea. In South Korea I have seen really large crowds of people come together to watch and to celebrate the national soccer team playing football.
It is interesting to think that back in those days of 1963 television was very new, and there was no internet, and there were no cellphones. People had to communicate by very few ‘land-line’ cable phones, written letters, or big, old radio or television sets, but only the wealthiest of people had telephones, radios or television, and not everyone could read and write. That meant that speeches like this were even more important. Seeing so many people come from around the country to listen to one man speak is, therefore, really very impressive!
I actually never read the whole speech before today. I am struck by how brief it is, but also how it reads like wonderfully easy poetry, and at the same time it is very clear and powerful in its imagery.
We can watch a shorter excerpt of him delivering those most famous and important lines within that speech here.