Councilman Andrews to Request City Recognize the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

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Dr. Martin Luther King giving his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. Photo from Wikipedia

Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. Photo from Wikipedia

Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews is introducing an agenda item for the August 13th Long Beach City Council meeting to recognize the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s, “I Have a Dream” speech. The City Council meeting is located at City Hall, 333 West Ocean Blvd., Lobby Level, Long Beach, CA.

Councilman Andrews is requesting that the Long Beach City Council recognize the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech and adopt a motion encouraging residents to acknowledge the August 28th Anniversary.

“I Have a Dream” is a public speech delivered by American activist Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Beginning with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed millions of slaves in 1863, King examines that: “one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free”. At the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme of “I Have a Dream”. In this part of the speech, which most excited the listeners and has now become the most famous, King described his dreams of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred. The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.

“This monumental dialogue has changed millions of lives throughout the world. Its foundation restored hope to all and freed the human spirit”, said Councilman Dee Andrews. Councilman Steven Neal and Councilwoman Dr. Suja Lowenthal also signed onto the agenda item.

In a particularly memorable passage, King declared, “…When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

For more information call the Office of Councilman Dee Andrews at (562) 570-6816.

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