“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We chose the quote above to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech because it seems to perfectly capture the dual nature of our predicament—how we have a black president standing before the Lincoln Memorial today addressing questions of race in America, but we still have suffered through one of the most devastating summers of “legitimate discontent” that we have seen in years, with the Trayvon Martin trial and the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act.
If you’d like to hear King’s stirring words from the Aug. 28, 1963 speech, click on the video below, downloaded from YouTube:
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.