Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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I know I haven’t been present here much lately, but life’s been busy and I’ve been working on Sunborn and doing a little bit of promotion for Galactica. But today seems like a good and important day to check back in. We’ve gotten to where holidays in the U.S. often seem to mean little beyond a day off from school or work, and the banks and post office being closed. So I just want to stop myself for a moment and pause and think about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

What better way than to go back to his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. My pastor read a portion of this in church yesterday, and it got to me then, as it gets to me every time I hear it or see the video clip. It’s become so familiar that I can hear it in Dr. King’s voice whether someone else is reciting it, or I’m reading it on the page.

Here’s Martin Luther King, Jr.:

…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 the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of 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, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls 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.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South 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 jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every 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 are free at last!”

You can read the speech in its entirety at, among other places.

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  1. Mel
    | Reply

    Hey! I just wanted to say that I think its great you posted Martin Luther King Jr’s speach. It is a great reminder how far we have come and how far we have left to go! I also wanted to say how excited I was when I found out the other day that you were writing the Battlestar Galactica Book. I love that show and I love what you do so it worked out great for me! I have been a fan of yours for a few years now and love the Chaos Chronicle books in fact I just got done reading them to refresh my memory in preperation for the new one!!!! GO YOU!!! Well keep up the good work!!!

  2. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Thanks, Mel. Good to hear from you!

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