The third Monday of January is set aside as a federal holiday in tribute to the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today we look at some words from his most famous speech, the “I Have a Dream” address. It is the speech many consider the best oratory of the twentieth century. It is a promise and a prediction. It never tires, and it can be read as what its elegance and passion combine to make: poetry.


I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, 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 one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four 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 the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

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 will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.


To read the speech in its entirety, go to or watch below.


I Have A Dream,” Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

Start the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.