My colleague Michael Coulter penned an op-ed in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. It has been picked up by several newspapers; here is an excerpt with link to the Maysville (KY) Ledger Independent:
Aug. 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at that great rally is rightly honored as one of the greatest speeches in American history.
All Americans recognize the soaring rhetoric of the final portion of the speech, where King speaks of a dream of an America without legal discrimination or racial prejudice. But the first part of that speech, wherein King speaks of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, is not as well-known but deserves to be. That portion demonstrates King’s commitment to the conception of justice held at the American founding.
In the third paragraph of King’s text, he says that “when the architects of our Great Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” With this reference to the declaration, there is a clear echo of that other great American speech from 100 years before King’s March on Washington speech: Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, which speaks of America as “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Read the rest here…