90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
King's Dream
In this Aug. 28, 1963, photo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP)

In this Aug. 28, 1963, photo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP)

Great moments in history colliding in Washington this week, echoing off each other, across the years.

On the mall yesterday, a huge crowd before the Lincoln Memorial, opening the celebration of Barack Obama’s inauguration, on the same site where Martin Luther King gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in August, 1963.

A new telling of the origins of that speech calls it “national scripture”. But it was not the speech King had prepared. This hour, On Point: the untold story of the “I Have a Dream” speech, and its monumental echo in the nation’s capitol this week.

You can join the conversation. On this Martin Luther King Day, is this the dream, part of it, coming true?

Guests:

Mike Allen, chief political correspondent for Politico.com.

Eric Sundquist, professor of literature, University of California, Los Angeles. He is author of “To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature.” His new book is “King’s Dream.”

You can read the introduction to “King’s Dream.”

Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. He is a fourth generation Baptist preacher.

More links:

The full text of the speech is available here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUtL_0vAJk

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Joe B.

    Isn’t this one the speeches that King plagiarized?

  • Scott in Iowa City

    …aaaaaaaaaaaaaand out they crawl.

  • Ruth Magill

    wonderful commentary, but please remember MLK was a reverend M.L. King Jr. he was steeped in theology, bible study, and a devoted christian pastor. In my humble opinion he was moved by the Holy Spirit to tell us about his dream, as many old testament prophets before him. God was a part of this movement from the very beginning. Please, don’t be hesitant to recognize this.

  • R.M.

    It a beautiful speech that gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it …..

  • Raymond Saloomey

    I believe we will NOT really overcome pervasive racism in the USA until we no longer talk about our new BLACK president, but rather just our new president!

  • Dave, Boston

    Another radical change:

    In discussing the lineage of President Lincoln, Dr. King, and President-elect Obama, I note, with great satisfaction, that we will, again, have a president the subtleties of whose language we will parse rather than bemoan.

    Dave, Boston

  • Dallas

    I was struck by the crowd at the We Are One Concert. Every race and ethnic group were present, totally comfortable with each other and united in a common vision. That to me is Dr. Kings dream.

  • Melissa

    I have to say when I listen to my 10 year son speak of his friends or any one that is of a different skin tone then he is he simply says “you know who I mean Mom his/her skin is a little darker then mine.” He has not been and will not be taught to view or love people differently because they are different in anyway. He simple accepts people for who they are and I think that is a lesson we all need to remind ourselves of everyday. I think today and everyday is a day to remember that we are all one….. we are all human and made and blessed by God.

  • Joe B.

    To Scott in Iowa City; Your total ignorance and lack of basic knowledge is quite profound. Dr. King “borrowed” key elements from his “I Have A Dream” speech from a speech given by the Reverend Archibald Carey, Jr. at the 1952 Republican National Convention.

  • Majawill

    In post-racial America, I believe there will be more emphasis on taking responsibility for oneself. The new president believes so as well. I take him at his word, and hope his actions reflect that view.

  • mike

    best saying i heard, rosa sat so martin could walk, martin walk so obama could run and obama ran so we all can fly

  • Frederic C.

    America, and the world for that matter will never be ‘post-racial,’ but if out growth can feed into the education system at a higher rate then we can hope to become ‘post-racist.’

    All races are amazing and beautiful. The history of the world can be seen in the faces of our friends and us. There is more to race than black and white.

  • millard-fillmore

    Scott in Arizona,

    I’m not much familiar with the history of MLK’s speech, but when I hear the speech or read about it being so great, my default assumption is that it was an original speech that he wrote.

    If that’s not a fact, why do you think it shouldn’t be mentioned? If he plagiarized, or used parts from someone’s speech without attribution, why do you think it’s irrelevant? I’m curious.

  • Pingback: Confronting Our Legacy Of Racial Violence (With A Little Help From The President) | Cognoscenti

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment