Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I read Dr. King’s speech and I was struck by the simple construction and complex pacing. It is a work of art. Dr. King was a master at communications and we can learn so much studying his words. We can learn so much about branding, yes, but also so much about how we should approach life.
In my research, I found out that retired basketball coach George Raveling (who coached at the University of Iowa from 1983-1986) has the original speech locked away for safekeeping. Raveling stood next to Dr. King 55 years ago as a bodyguard and was handed the original typewritten speech at the end.
The entire speech is 17 minutes long. Enjoy this excerpt:
“…I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today…”