“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”– Rev. Martin Luther King
Take 17 minutes to listen to one of the most important sermons of the last centuries. It’s a masterclass of invitation, challenge and reformation.
And we need “I have a dream”, now more than ever.
According to writer Gary Younge, Dr. King was not going to use the “I have a dream” portion of his now famous speech. He writes, “King was winding up what would have been a well-received but, by his standards, fairly unremarkable oration. “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana,” he said. Then, behind him, Mahalia Jackson cried out: “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin.” Jackson had a particularly intimate emotional relationship with King, who when he felt down would call her for some “gospel musical therapy”.
“She was his favourite gospel singer, and he would ask her to sing The Old Rugged Cross or Jesus Met The Woman At The Well down the phone,” Jones explains. Jackson had seen him deliver the dream refrain in Detroit in June and clearly it had moved her.
“Go back to the slums and ghettoes of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed,” King said. Jackson shouted again: “Tell ’em about the dream.” “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends.” Then King grabbed the podium and set his prepared text to his left. “When he was reading from his text, he stood like a lecturer,” Jones says. “But from the moment he set that text aside, he took on the stance of a Baptist preacher.” Jones turned to the person standing next to him and said: “Those people don’t know it, but they’re about to go to church.”
A smattering of applause filled a pause more pregnant than most.
“So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”
I believe with all my heart that King’s dream is God’s dream. And it will take a generation of courageous leaders (like you and me) to turn it into reality.
Seriously, watch all 17 minutes.
Share it with your family and friends.
And live it in 2018.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.– Rev. Martin Luther King