The Unfinished Dream Essay, Research Paper
The Unfinished Dream
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was a magnificent man. He was a disciple for justice, an apostle for peace. He was a man with a grand dream. He dreamed of a society where every man was treated equally, despite the color of his skin. Reverend King dedicated his life to improving the quality of living for African-Americans. He heroically and serenely led the Civil Rights Movement. Doctor King?s philosophy was ?nonviolence?. Although he and his followers were called derogatory names, sprayed with fire hoses, attacked by vicious dogs, and even jailed, Dr. King never resorted to combativeness. He protested peacefully and effectively paved the way for change!
Annette Rottenberg pays tribute to Dr. King in her anthology, The Elements of Argument. During the course of his life, Martin Luther King wrote many memorable speeches. August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Reverend King delivered one of the most inspirational speeches of his lifetime. In the ?I Have a Dream? speech, Dr. King spoke of his dream for America. He boldly states in his speech, ?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? (710). Reverend King was confident that African-Americans would reach the Promised Land.
He had confidence in his movement and faith in his followers. He knew that even if he didn?t reach the Promised Land with his people, the movement would progress and the day for peace would come.
Today, over thirty years since the unforgettable ?I Have a Dream? speech, change has come. Segregated schools, off-limit water fountains, and back-seat bus rides are all indiscretions of the past. More Blacks are graduating from high school and choosing not to limit their educational experience by going to college. Blacks have torn down countless barriers. African-Americans have accomplished many goals in the fields of Business, Sports, Politics, Entertainment, and Medicine. Martin Luther King would be impressed with such progress, but I believe that he would definitely notice room for further improvement.
Although African-Americans have made significant advancements, the battle is not yet over. Race relations in America are tense. Racial hatred and discrimination still exist. Prejudice is prevalent in America, even though it is not blatant as it was in the 1960?s; it still lingers among us with the pungent odor of injustice. People are yet losing their lives and their loved ones to crimes of hatred and racial discrimination.
Whenever I read a newspaper clipping or see a documentary on television about racial indiscretions, I am reminded of my own personal injustices. As a child I never expected to come in contact with the raging flames of ?prejudice?. I never contemplated having to console my younger male siblings because they too had been burned by the
fire. I can still remember the waves of emotion I felt the first time that I was treated unfairly: anger, confusion, and grief to name a few. My pride was injured, my heart cried. I have looked the beast of injustice in the face and my eyes shall never forget the horror. I have shared my stories of unfairness with other African-American?s and I have listened to their stories in disbelief. It is very difficult to admit the fact that racism is not a transgression of the past; it is our reality today.
Martin Luther King had a marvelous dream. A dream that still lives on although he is no longer with us. As of today King?s dream is unfinished, but far from impossible! America has made great progress to improve race relations between blacks and whites, but we can only accomplish this dream together. We must tear down the racial barriers and learn to respect each other. Love yourself, love your culture, love your heritage, and most of all learn to love the race of all God?s children: The human race.
King, Martin Luther. I Have A Dream. The Elements of Argument. Ed. Annette
Rottenberg. Boston: Bedford Books, 1997. 708-711