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
Hope is alive, but still needs
Heroes willing to fight
The unbeatable foe
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.
- Why Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ Speech Is So Hard to Find Online (soulbrotherspeaks.com)
- #AdvancingTheDream: We asked, YOU answered (tv.msnbc.com)
- Half a century later, is this what Martin Luther King dreamed? (sacbee.com)
- A dream deferred: 50 years since ‘I have a dream’ (readingeagle.com)
- Still dreaming of a level field after all these years (japantimes.co.jp)
- Full text of Martin Luther King Jr.s I Have a Dream speech (miamiherald.com)
- What Becomes Of A Dream Deferred? (madamenoire.com)
- A dream deferred By Langston Hughes (herwordshisfashion.wordpress.com)
- Dreams and the impossible (snabulsi03.wordpress.com)
- Marching for King’s dream: ‘The task is not done’ (sfgate.com)