On the 50th anniversary of MLK "I Have a Dream" speech, remember how far we have to go (VIDEO)
Today marks the 50th anniversary of when Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Monument and delivered his now famous "I Have a Dream Speech." If you didn't know it was the anniversary, you probably would have figured it out by the Google Doodle commemorating the event. The year was 1963 and hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington D.C. to march for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. In front of this audience Dr. Martin Luther King delivered what is one of the most famous speeches ever in U.S. history. How many times have we heard that speech quoted? Countless! But have you ever heard the whole speech? Have you ever read the whole speech?
Read More ¿Qué Más?: 7 Latino leaders inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. (PHOTOS)
I am ashamed to say that until today, I had never read or heard the entire speech. I'd only ever known a few quotes of it, the quotes that always get repeated. Today just seemed like the day that I needed to go beyond that. I think today would be a great day for all of us to go beyond the sound bites, beyond the Google Doodle and take a moment to read the full speech and really appreciate how great it is in its entirety. It's also a good time to consider how far we've come, but how far we still have to go.
The reason we aren't all familiar with the entire speech is because of copyright laws. Until the year 2038, King's estate owns the rights to the speech and they are extremely selective about who gets to use it. I respect the estate's desire to protect the speech from being co-opted for say commercials and such, but I really believe that this speech belongs to all of us that this speech was a gift from Dr. King to us, to the country, and to the world.
I challenge you to take the time to read the entire speech and own it. Make it a part of your being, be informed by it. You can read the entire "I Have a Dream" speech here in U.S. National Archives. Let's keep this dream alive.
Image via Google Doodle