As we honor the legendary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this January, it is only natural to think about his famous “ I Have A Dream” speech. This year will make 54 years since Dr. King spoke so eloquently and powerfully about his hope for a nation that values the character of a person as opposed to the color of their skin. With the state of our country and the controversial presidential election, racial tension and uncertainty are the concerns being raised in our nation. Do not be discouraged, the dream is still alive. Here is what former and current Teen Reporters had to say about what “I Have A Dream” means to them in 2017.
Brianna, a University of Missouri alum, was a Teen Reporter for two years. She now has a multi-faceted career as an integrated marketing assistant, social media fellow, freelancer, and personal assistant.
What does Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” mean to you today in the year 2017?
You know, growing up we’re taught about Martin Luther King Jr. But, it wasn’t until I was 18 in 2012 – the year Trayvon Martin was fatally shot – that I understood and internalized exactly what he meant in his legendary speech. That event singlehandedly incited yet another massive wave of anger similar to what my grandparents witnessed back in the 60s. Hearing the loud cries for justice concerning black and brown bodies firsthand, now I genuinely cherish MLK’s speech as something like a daily affirmation rather than just a historical artifact. I read as well as listen to it more attentively because life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were promised to all of us, not just some of us. We can’t afford to rest until everyone despite race, sex, gender, nationality, creed etc. has access and peace truly prevails.
Kendria, a McNeese State University alum, was also a Teen Reporter for two years. She is currently a TV news reporter.
Here is what she had to say about the meaning of the “I have a Dream” speech to her.
The speech means so much to me as a woman of color. This speech, and Martin Luther King's life is a reflection of perseverance and strength. The speech and the entire civil rights movement was during a time where it seemed almost impossible to eliminate segregation and racial tensions. However, King still had that dream and worked towards it, despite the hard times. Ultimately his dream became a reality. It shows that nothing is impossible as long as you have faith and work hard. Because of Martin Luther Kings dream of equality I can now live out my dreams, working as a news reporter.
Abisola, a freshman at the University of Central Florida, is a current Teen Reporter, blogger, and Her Campus writer.
This is what she had to say about what Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech means to her.
Today, more than ever I have seen the significant progress and strides that our nation has made towards racial equality. Living in the Obama administration era is enough evidence of our progress. However, I can’t deny that we have a long way to go. The fact that as a country we still have to emphasize that “Black Lives Matter” still saddens me. Nonetheless, if we follow Dr. King’s legacy, and lead peaceful protests and educate people from the ignorance of racism, his dream will surely come to pass. Overall, I know that the dream still lives on.
What does Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech mean to you? Let us know in the comments below! But before you do, check out this video from our #SweatSister Andrea Lewis.