“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”
Those are the words that MLK said leading off his speech to the masses in Washington DC on the steps of Lincoln’s memorial. Across from the Washington Monument, MLK delivered what is arguably one of the most popular speeches of all time. Calling for an end to racism King delivered the speech in front of 250,000 people in what is one of more memorable moments in the American Civl Rights movement.
The speech has several versions that were written at different times and there was no one draft as it was created from several “dream” speeches. In recordings of the speach there is a clear call and response taking place as gospel singer Mahalia Jackson can be heard shouting from the crowd back and forth with King.
In light of all the protests and nationwide rioting with Mike Brown, Trayvon, Erica Garner and other victims of police violence, its important to note that there was not a single arrest relating to the demonstration and that the demonstration was crucial to Kennedy’s civil rights efforts. Protest led to action and change. Just a lil food for thought everyone. Happy MLK Day!