I Have a Dream: The Best Speech of the 20th Century


O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Al Quran 49:13/14)

Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr.; January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

I have a dream

King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and later became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As president of the SCLC, he then led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped organize the Selma to Montgomery marches. In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty, capitalism, and the Vietnam War. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover considered him a radical and made him an object of the FBI’s COINTELPRO from 1963 on. FBI agents investigated him for possible communist ties, recorded his extramarital liaisons and reported on them to government officials, and, in 1964, mailed King a threatening anonymous letter, which he interpreted as an attempt to make him commit suicide.[1]

Before his death, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. citiesAllegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing King, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting.

Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:

In the Face of Racism in US — Selma: A Movie, Every Black, Brown and White Person Will Enjoy

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!

2 replies

  1. Grew up only listerning to his speech on airways in the tird wirld island country. TV was no where near. It eas most inspiring speech ever for us kids most of which we memorized for high school speech contest.
    Thirty years later i had the first opportunity to see Martin Luther King on TV screen as international student in 1986 at Sacramento City College a rerun if his speech captured in black and white film available those days. It waa a great ti joy see those precious historic moments on TV in action and rousing manner he delivered the famous speech I HAVE A DREAM the tagline that we cannot drop when writing this great Amerucan Hero. We owe him our solute for forging the Civil Rights Movement in US to be modelled everwhere in the world. God bless tge King.

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