Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s story is a big part of America’s history. The son of a minister, he grew up in segregated Georgia.

From his leadership during the Montgomery bus boycott to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, King shared a message of faith, peace and equality. For his trouble his home was bombed and he was arrested, attacked and ultimately murdered in 1968.

In the midst of his incredible journey, on August 28, 1963, Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his timeless “I have a dream” speech in front of more than 200,000 people.

What made this speech so amazing? Why do we still look back on it more than 50 years later? Here’s three excerpts that stand out from Dr. King’s speech that give us some perspective on ideas we should reconsider today.

Dr. King believed in the American Dream

“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.'”

Dr. King believed in taking responsibility

“Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood…

“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline…

“I have a dream that my four 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.”

Dr. King believed in America’s founding principles

“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

What are your thoughts? Did Dr. King stand for freedom, equality and opportunity, or more dependency and less freedom? Can we still embrace his ideas today? Let us know on our Facebook page!

You can read the full speech here, but here’s a clip of the last part:

 

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