On Thursday I was able to talk to our St. Mary’s School students about the upcoming holiday, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In Idaho we call it “Idaho Human Rights Day.” It is observed this year on January 18th. We learned about the man, his life and his “dream.”
Dr. King was an American clergyman and civil-rights leader. King was born on January 15, 1929. He became minister of the Dexter Ave. Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. In 1960 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became a co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father, Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. He remained in that position until his assassination in 1968. In 1964, at the age of 35, he was the youngest man and the third black man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
He brought together more than 250,000 people on the “March on Washington” in August 1963 where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Some of the quotes from his dream are still inspiring for us today.
“So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow 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.”
I have a dream that little 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.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and before the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. (Isaiah 40:4)
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the mount with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the genuine discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, pray together; to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom forever, knowing that we will be free one day.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!”
Stay safe as you enjoy a well-earned day of rest.