Editor’sNote: King’s speech: We want to hear your thoughts on Aug. 28, 1963

Bayard Rustin and Cleveland Robinson prepare for the March on Washington in this photo taken Aug. 7, 1963, by World Telegram & Sun photographer O. Fernandez.

Bayard Rustin and Cleveland Robinson prepare for the March on Washington in this photo taken Aug. 7, 1963, by World Telegram & Sun photographer O. Fernandez.

This month brings the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered before a crowd of some 250,000 civil rights supporters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.

As part of the Spirit’s coverage of this landmark anniversary, we’re hoping to hear from our readers. Did any of you go to D.C. for the March that hot Wednesday and hear King’s inspiring words firsthand? Did you listen on the radio or read news coverage of the speech at the time?

[cleeng_content id="149730919" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]Many of us are familiar with King’s speech, particularly its conclusion where King says: “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American 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 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 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.

“… And when this happens, when we allow freedom to 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!’”

Or maybe you weren’t tuned in on Aug. 28, 1963 – maybe you weren’t even alive then – but have since found yourself moved by the words uttered that day by the 34-year-old King. Whatever the case, we welcome you to share your reflections: How have the Atlanta-born minister’s now-famous remarks shaped your thinking? How do you view King’s legacy? What are your feelings about the state of racial harmony in our nation today?

We’re looking forward to including a sampling of what we hear from readers in the Aug. 28 edition of the Spirit. As always, thank you for reading and for working with us to make this newspaper a vibrant, trusted voice for our community.

— Robert Snyder

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