The word ‘Dream’ is multifaceted! Each and every tiny lease of life in the universe has got dreams, or to put it more politically, has got the ‘Right to dream.’ This very idea of ‘dream’ was indeed elucidated by the legends who walked on this planet once in a holy,romanticized manner which in turn ignited a desire in the common folk, particularly the oppressed to strive hard in order to achieve the fruition of their dreams.
Reminiscing the ‘legend of dreams’, Martin Luther King Jr, the torch bearer of the Civil Rights Movement, a close analysis of his venerable speech ‘I have a dream’, proclaiming the dreams of ‘black community’ in association with the ‘Black lives matter’ saga which gained momentum recently has become the need of the hour. As far as the lives of the ‘blacks’ are concerned, August 28, 1963 was indeed a remarkable one in their history of life long duels and oppression. On this epoch day more than 250,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. to participate in the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”
The march was one of the largest demonstrations for human rights in United States history, according to the National Archives. It was on this historic day that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 17-minute long iconic speech, which remains one of the best-known orations of modern history. Following this year Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended legal segregation and prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. But has his dream come true? Are the blacks living their dreams? Are they out of bondage?
Quoting the final snippet from King’s speech:
“….I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification”, 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 today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. 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 work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day……
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
The Vacuity of ‘Black Dreams’!
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, 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!”
A close introspection of this historic speech with respect to the plight of the ‘blacks’ is indeed a mandatory rumination for MLK day 2021. Of late, the ‘Black lives matter movement’ captured a mood and sparked action which in fact indicates that MLK’S dreams are unfortunately unaccomplished.
The names most associated with Black Lives Matter are not its leaders but the victims who have drawn attention to the massive issues of racism this country grapples with: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, to name a few.
The movement can be traced back to 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Florida.
The 17-year-old had been returning from a shop after buying sweets and iced tea. Mr Zimmerman claimed the unarmed black teenager had looked suspicious. There was outrage when he was found not guilty of murder, and a Facebook post entitled “Black Lives Matter” caught the public within the fraction of seconds.
This indeed points fingers at the authenticity of civil rights movements, turning a blind eye towards the hardships of leaders like Martin Luther King and many others who toiled day in and out for the rights of the ‘black community’. Analyzing all these incidents, a national reckoning towards the stratification of ‘blacks’ has to be brought to public attention, but musn’t stop there; instead shall reverberate around the globe until their ‘dreams’ are fulfilled. Fingers crossed for yet another Martin Luther King Jr!