To those people in the huts and small towns of half the Earth fighting to interrupt the bonds of mass wretchedness. we pledge our best attempts to assist them assist themselves. for whatever period is required — non because the Communists may be making it. non because we seek their ballots. but because it is right. If a free society can non assist the many who are hapless. it can non salvage the few who are rich.
So allow us get down afresh — retrieving on both sides that civility is non a mark of failing. and earnestness is ever capable to proof. Let us ne’er negotiate out of fright. but allow us ne’er fear to negociate. And. if a beachhead of cooperation may force back the jungle of intuition. allow both sides join in making a new enterprise — non a new balance of power. but a new universe of jurisprudence — where the strong are merely. and the weak secure. and the peace preserved.
All this will non be finished in the first one hundred yearss. Nor will it be finished in the first one 1000 yearss ; nor in the life of this Administration ; nor even possibly in our life-time on this planet. But allow us get down.
In your custodies. my fellow citizens. more than mine. will rest the concluding success or failure of our class. Since this state was founded. each coevals of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national trueness. The Gravess of immature Americans who answered the call to service environ the Earth.
Now the cornet biddings us once more — non as a call to bear weaponries. though weaponries we need — non as a call to conflict. though embattled we are — but a call to bear the load of a long dusk battle. twelvemonth in and twelvemonth out. “rejoicing in hope ; patient in trial. ”? a battle against the common enemies of adult male: dictatorship. poorness. disease. and war itself.
Can we hammer against these enemies a expansive and planetary confederation. North and South. East and West. that can guarantee a more fruitful life for all world? Will you join in that historic attempt?
And so. my fellow Americans. inquire non what your state can make for you ; inquire what you can make for your state.
My fellow citizens of the universe. inquire non what America will make for you. but what together we can make for the freedom of adult male.
Finally. whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the universe. ask of us here the same high criterions of strength and forfeit which we ask of you. With a good scruples our lone certain wages. with history the concluding justice of our workss. allow us travel away to take the land we love. inquiring His approval and His aid. but cognizing that here on Earth God’s work must genuinely be our ain.
I know how imperfect our Ahimsa is and how far off we are still from the ideal. but in Ahimsa there is no concluding failure or licking. I have faith. hence. that if. in malice of our defects. the large thing does go on. it will be because God wanted to assist us by coronating with success our silent. ceaseless Sadhana1 for the last 22 old ages. I believe that in the history of the universe. there has non been a more truly democratic battle for freedom than ours. I read Carlyle’s French Resolution while I was in prison. and Pandit Jawaharlal has told me something about the Russian revolution. But it is my strong belief that inasmuch as these battles were fought with the arm of force they failed to recognize the democratic ideal. In the democracy which I have envisaged. a democracy established by non-violence. there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his ain maestro. It is to fall in a battle for such democracy that I invite you today. Once you realize this you will bury the differences between the Hindus and Muslims. and think of yourselves as Indians merely. engaged in the common battle for independency.
We have before us an ordeal of the most dangerous sort. We have before us many. many long months of battle and of enduring. You ask. what is our policy? I will state: It is to pay war. by sea. land and air. with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us ; to pay war against a monstrous dictatorship. ne’er surpassed in the dark and deplorable catalogue of human offense. That is our policy. You ask. what is our purpose? I can reply in one word: triumph. Victory at all costs. triumph in malice of all panic. triumph. nevertheless long and hard the route may be ; for without triumph. there is no endurance. Let that be realised ; no endurance for the British Empire. no endurance for all that the British Empire has stood for. no endurance for the impulse and urge of the ages. that world will travel frontward towards its end.
But I take up my undertaking with perkiness and hope. I feel certain that our cause will non be suffered to neglect among work forces. At this clip I feel entitled to claim the assistance of all. and I say. “Come so. allow us travel frontward together with our united strength.
Blessed are the hapless in spirit: for theirs is the land of Eden.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the Earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain clemency.
Blessed are the pure in bosom: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the conciliators: for they shall be called the kids of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ interest: for theirs is
the land of Eden.
Duty. Honor. State: Those three hallowed words reverentially dictate what you ought to be. what you can be. what you will be. They are your beat uping points: to construct bravery when bravery seems to neglect ; to recover religion when there seems to be small cause for religion ; to make hope when hope becomes forlorn. The disbelievers will state they are but words. but a slogan. but a showy phrase. Every bookworm. every rabble-rouser. every faultfinder. every dissembler. every trouble maker. and I am regretful to state. some others of an wholly different character. will seek to downgrade them even to the extent of jeer and ridicule.
But these are some of the things they do. They build your basic character. They mold you for your hereafter roles as the keepers of the nation’s defence. They make you strong plenty to cognize when you are weak. and weather plenty to confront yourself when you are afraid. They teach you to be proud and inflexible in honorable failure. but low and soft in success ; non to replace words for actions. non to seek the way of comfort. but to confront the emphasis and goad of trouble and challenge ; to larn to stand up in the storm but to hold compassion on those who fall ; to get the hang yourself before you seek to get the hang others ; to hold a bosom that is clean. a end that is high ; to larn to express joy. yet ne’er bury how to cry ; to make into the hereafter yet ne’er neglect the yesteryear ; to be serious yet ne’er to take yourself excessively earnestly ; to be modest so that you will retrieve the simpleness of true illustriousness. the unfastened head of true wisdom. the submission of true strength. They give you a pique of the will. a quality of the imaginativeness. a energy of the emotions. a freshness of the deep springs of life. a temperamental predomination of bravery over timidness. of an appetency for escapade over love of easiness. They create in your bosom the sense of admiration. the foolproof hope of what following. and the joy and inspiration of life. They teach you in this manner to be an officer and a gentleman
I do non cognize the self-respect of their birth. but I do cognize the glorification of their decease. They died unquestioning. uncomplaining. with religion in their Black Marias. and on their lips the hope that we would travel on to triumph. Always. for them: Duty. Honor. Country ; ever their blood and perspiration and cryings. as we sought the manner and the visible radiation and the truth.
Merely the dead have seen the terminal of war. ”
Now is the clip to lift from the dark and bare vale of segregation to the sunstruck way of racial justness. Now is the clip to raise our state from the quicksands of racial unfairness to the solid stone of brotherhood. Now is the clip to do justness a world for all of God’s kids.
It would be fatal for the state to overlook the urgency of the minute. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will non go through until there is an inspiring fall of freedom and equality. Nineteen 63 is non an terminal. but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will hold a rude rousing if the state returns to concern as usual. And there will be neither rest nor repose in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of rebellion will go on to agitate the foundations of our state until the bright twenty-four hours of justness emerges
But there is something that I must state to my people. who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the castle of justness: In the procedure of deriving our rightful topographic point. we must non be guilty of unlawful workss. Let us non seek to fulfill our thirst for freedom by imbibing from the cup of resentment and hatred. We must forever carry on our battle on the high plane of self-respect and subject. We must non let our originative protest to devolve into physical force. Again and once more. we must lift to the olympian highs of run intoing physical force with soul force.
The fantastic new combativeness which has engulfed the Negro community must non take us to a misgiving of all white people. for many of our white brothers. as evidenced by their presence here today. have come to recognize that their fate is tied up with our fate. And they have come to recognize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We can non walk entirely.
And as we walk. we must do the pledge that we shall ever process in front.
We can non turn back.
There are those who are inquiring the fans of civil rights. “When will you be satisfied? ” We can ne’er be satisfied every bit long as the Negro is the victim of the indefinable horrors of constabulary ferociousness. We can ne’er be satisfied every bit long as our organic structures. heavy with the weariness of travel. can non derive lodging in the motels of the main roads and the hotels of the metropoliss. We can non be satisfied every bit long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can ne’er be satisfied every bit long as our kids are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their self-respect by a mark stating: “For Whites Merely. ” We can non be satisfied every bit long as a Negro in Mississippi can non vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nil for which to vote. No. no. we are non satisfied. and we will non be satisfied until “justice axial rotations down like Waterss. and righteousness like a mighty watercourse.
Let us non wallow in the vale of desperation. I say to you today. my friends.
And so even though we face the troubles of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream profoundly rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one twenty-four hours this state will lift up and populate out the true significance of its credo: “We keep these truths to be axiomatic. that all work forces are created equal. ”
I have a dream that one twenty-four hours on the ruddy hills of Georgia. the boies of former slaves and the boies of former slave proprietors will be able to sit down together at the tabular array of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one twenty-four hours even the province of Mississippi. a province sweltering with the heat of unfairness. sweltering with the heat of subjugation. will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justness.
I have a dream that my four small kids will one twenty-four hours populate in a state where they will non be judged by the colour of their tegument but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one twenty-four hours. down in Alabama. with its barbarous racialists. with its governor holding his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one twenty-four hours right at that place in Alabama small black male childs and black misss will be able to fall in custodies with small white male childs and white misss as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one twenty-four hours every vale shall be exalted. and every hill and mountain shall be made low. the unsmooth topographic points will be made field. and the crooked topographic points will be made directly ; “and the glorification of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. ”?
This is our hope. and this is the religion that I go back to the South with.
With this religion. we will be able to hew out of the mountain of desperation a rock of hope. With this religion. we will be able to transform the jangling strifes of our state into a beautiful symphonic music of brotherhood. With this religion. we will be able to work together. to pray together. to fight together. to travel to imprison together. to stand up for freedom together. cognizing that we will be free one twenty-four hours.
And this will be the twenty-four hours – this will be the twenty-four hours when all of God’s kids will be able to sing with new significance:
My state ’tis of thee. sweet land of autonomy. of thee I sing.
Land where my male parents died. land of the Pilgrim’s pride.
From every versant. Lashkar-e-Taiba freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great state. this must go true.
And so let freedom pealing from the colossal brows of New Hampshire.
Let freedom pealing from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom pealing from the rising Allegheny mountainss of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom pealing from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom pealing from the bosomy inclines of California.
But non merely that:
Let freedom pealing from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom pealing from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom pealing from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every versant. Lashkar-e-Taiba freedom ring.
And when this happens. when we allow freedom pealing. when we let it pealing from every small town and every crossroads. from every province and every metropolis. we will be able to rush up that twenty-four hours when all of God’s kids. black work forces and white work forces. Hebrews and Gentiles. Protestants and Catholics. will be able to fall in custodies and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty. we are free at last!
Four mark and seven old ages ago our male parents brought away on this continent. a new state. conceived in autonomy. and dedicated to the proposition that all work forces are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war. proving whether that state. or any state so conceived and so dedicated. can long digest. We are met on a great battleground of that war. We have come to give a part of that field. as a concluding resting topographic point for those who here gave their lives that that state might populate. It is wholly fitting and proper that we should make this.
But in a larger sense. we can non give – we can non ordain – we can non consecrate – this land. The courageous work forces. life and dead. who struggled here. have consecrated it. far above our hapless power to add or take away. The universe will little note. nor long remember. what we say here. but it can ne’er bury what they did here. It is for us the life. instead. to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have therefore far so nobly advanced. It is instead for us to be here dedicated to the great undertaking staying before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotedness to that cause for which they gave the last full step of devotedness – that we here extremely resolve that these dead shall non hold died in vain – that this state. under God. shall hold a new birth of freedom – and that authorities of the people. by the people. for the people. shall non die from the Earth.