Is the dream deferred?

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

This question is being pondered by many today as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King‘s I have a dream speech on August 25, 1963. We have seen changes that many of our young people cannot even imagine and learn about from pictures and history books. But we still have a way to go so that the society that was envisioned by our founders continues to evolve. Dr. King’s dream is not contained in one speech. It is supposed to be a way of life. Look around carefully at our big cities and you will see the inequality he spoke of 50 years ago. We still have a way to go.

I heard someone refer to Don Quixote in the context of today’s commemoration. Today the windmills are not the giants Cervantes’ Quixote tried to fight. They represent the outrageous greed of some folks. They represent the lack of understanding that our natural environment needs to be conserved. They represent the decline of our education system and the lack of respect for educators of our nation. They represent the violence many young children have to deal with. Our windmills are a huge undertaking. They are still a large part of a dream unfulfilled. Is the dream deferred?

So today as I listened to the I Have a Dream speech I thought about Dr. King’s purpose, and his example. I thought about others whose dreams promoted hope and anguish almost simultaneously but in that incongruous mix of emotions also incited and motivated people to do the right things. It moved people to be generous and caring. It encouraged people to not give up hope.

In my poem I try to keep the dream alive but understanding that the change starts with me and it can only continue if we work together.


Thank you Dr. King. I will keep your dream alive.


Is the Dream Deferred?

To dream the impossible dream

We all have been there in our lives

In company of the great minds

Of the past and the present

The now

Hope is alive, but still needs

Heroes willing to fight

The unbeatable foe


To dream

Because we all have dreams

We must unite and dream together

To reach the goals of our ancestors

Whoever they may have been

From wherever they may have come

It will be our task

to fight the windmills of today

to see each other as one soul

to teach love and peace

to get rid of senseless hatreds


to dream our American dream together

to reach out to each other

to keep our eyes on the prize

this is my dream.

                                                                                          by Melba Christie (c) 2013


My Quixote By Melba Christie (c) 2006 – Painted to commemorate 500th birthday of Cervantes.

My Quixote