The title of this post is intentionally ironic. Of course we are away from school today because Dr. Martin Luther King is commemorated by name with a national holiday. And just about everyone alive is familiar with King's "I Have A Dream" speech. However, as we finish the semester, having recently explored the writings of another notable civil rights activist, Frederick Douglass, we invite you to think about what you have previously learned about Dr. King as a younger student, in light of this particular speech. The subject of the talk was the Vietnam War, in an excerpt from a sermon given at Ebenezer Baptist Church, on April 30, 1967. Consider the public response to his words back then:
...after giving the speech...King was dropped from Gallup’s annual list of the most admired Americans and was ridiculed by the New York Times, among too many others. Soon after, he was murdered (Robert Scheer, Truthdig.com).
Although it is over 20 minutes long, you are encouraged to listen to as much of it as you can (it's audio only). We know what amazing multitaskers you are. Press PLAY and have it on in the background as you IM your friends and surf the net ;) Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why is this post titled, "The Forgotten King"?
- Why was this speech so controversial?
- How does it relate to our course themes?
- Can you make connections to today?
A full text version of this speech is available HERE.