Tonight we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He had a dream...what is our vision? Call 347-855-8118. Speech excerpts, discussions and we will feature a special song... Join us at 8 p.m. CST
Beginning with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed millions of slaves in 1863 King observes that: "one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free". Toward the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme "I have a dream", prompted by Mahalia Jackson's cry: "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" In this part of the speech, which most excited the listeners and has now become its most famous, King described his dreams of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred. Jon Meacham writes that, "With a single phrase, Martin Luther King, Jr. joined Jefferson and Lincoln in the ranks of men who've shaped modern America".The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.
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