FIFTY YEARS OF DREAMING: Continuing the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

LIBERTY, January 9, 2013 - August 28, 1963, at first seems so very long ago and yet, the date and the significance of the date are still so close to us today in January 2013. August 28, 1963, is the date on which Dr. King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech for which he will always be remembered.

Dr. King and the Dream have left an indelible mark on history, both in the United States of American and in the world, as many other nations have dreamed along with us. What is most remembered from the Dream speech is the ending, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” However, let us look to the prophetic words at the beginning or opening of that Dream speech: “I am happy to join you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation,” said Dr. King. Now, let us also dwell on that statement, 50 years later.

This bold opening statement was a prophecy. There had been many actions taken with regard to demonstrations for freedom in this country. There had been actions taken to provide for the establishment of freedom, i.e., the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The fact in 1963 was that “freedom” was still elusive to the Negro, the Colored, the African American, the Black culture of this nation. Dr. King could see this very clearly, both in his dream and in the reality of day-to-day life at that time. With his prophetic vision, Dr. King must have realized that it would be more than an event or overnight success to set all things aright. He was purposely “planting seeds” of wisdom and encouragement and motivation for the days that would follow far into the future.

Today in January 2013, the Dream is still very much alive and active. There have been many strides and many successes but that does not mean that the dream has been fully realized. There are many aspects of the dream that are yet to be fulfilled. The “greatest demonstration for freedom” set a precedent that challenges us today to “out do it” by continuing to strive unceasingly for every facet of the Dream. We should challenge ourselves, individually and collectively, to frequently re-read that speech from August 28, 1963, and remind ourselves that our work continues today. The Dream of Dr. King, the prophesy of Dr. King, belongs to each and every person of color in these United States.

Since 1963 has been marked as time now far past, a new fifty years are still ahead of us to continue to dream and to strive for a better and more “free” society for all. Our Constitution and Declaration of Independence did not originally apply to only one or certain communities in American, but to all communities and all peoples that form this Union. No one can be free if all are not free. We owe it to Dr. King and we owe it to ourselves to continue dreaming until we are all “Free at last!”

Message From:
Dr. Henry L. Dugat, Sr.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Liberty County Martin Luther King, Jr.
Celebration Committee

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