Martin Luther King, Jr.
Plug-in required for flash audio Your browser does not support the audio element. Text version below transcribed directly from audio. Five score years ago, a great Americanin whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independencethey were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds.
We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.
Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.
And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, 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 forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January.
It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial.
Watch video · Martin Luther King Jr. changed his name from Michael to Martin after his father adopted the name Martin in honor of the Protestant leader Martin Luther.
“But we come here tonight to be saved. On August 28, , Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered those famous words in a speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Born in Atlanta during the height of racial segregation, Martin Luther King dedicated his life to bringing attention to these social injustices to light in a powerful but non-violent way.
Martin Luther King - The principal leader in the civil rights movement in the U.S. and a fervent advocate of nonviolent protest, Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged segregation and racial discrimination on many fronts. His yearlong boycott of segregated buses in Alabama helped him gain nationa.
The principal leader in the civil rights movement in the U.S. and a fervent advocate of nonviolent protest, Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged segregation and racial discrimination on many fronts.
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial.