I was lucky.
I was raised in a house where love was the norm, and tolerance was expected.
Not only for those in the house… but for others, outside the house… and beyond the borders.
Anger or threatening behavior was not acceptable, and were dealt with and put aside to be forgotten.
Our dinner table, when I was growing up, was filled with all manner of artists, writers, radio folk… people from all walks of life, and levels of society.
As long as the person was similarly tolerant… all were welcome.
Many nights, my Mum would scramble to be creative, in order to make 4 porkchops stretch to feed five or six… as someone unexpected came to dinner
I think I have written before about the discussions around the dinner table… that were far above my understanding… but always, despite the fervor and passion that people often brought to these discussions, never with a trace of anger or malevolence towards someone with a different view or opinion.
I was lucky.
I grew up in a household where my Dad would cue up reel to reel tapes of speeches that were stirring. I remember Churchill’s “We shall never surrender…” speech being played at considerable volume down in the basement… my Dad reveling in the eloquence and passion of the speakers… the rise and fall of the cadence… not unlike the music he also loved so much.
I don’t know for sure, but must believe that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have also held a position on several reels of tape… having a similar command of language, and understanding of rise and fall… whisper and shout… that all good speakers are able to bring to bear.
But better than a good speaker, Dr King was a great speaker… easily as able to captivate his listeners today, as he was many years ago.
The only thing jarring to my ears is the now rarely heard word “Negro”, which Dr King used, to refer to people of colour.
But it is STILL worth a listen, and every bit as true today, as it was then.
Invoking the words of the Constitution of the United States, and stripping them bare to the essence that the writers intended.
Below, is a segment of Dr. King’s “American Dream” speech.
The speech, in its entirety, is just over 30 minutes, and a wonderful investment of time… as ‘Freedom’ and the fight for equality are just as relevant today, as they were when Dr King first spoke these words.
You can purchase the complete “American Dream” speech, and others, through the iTunes Store: Martin Luther King, Jr. – The Best Of The Speeches
The dream is still out there, and we are still searching for it… but I believe we shall get there.