And when this happens, 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!
Dr. King would be proud today.
We should all be proud today.
Today, in Denver, history is being made. 45 years to the day after Dr. King delivered the immortal “I have a dream” speech, for the first time in our nation’s history, a black man will be accepting his party’s nomination to run for the office of President of the United States.
Almost 400 years since the first slave ships landed in the Americas, 145 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and only a generation removed from segregation, we are finally starting progress toward a future forged in hope.
It is no secret that I am a big fan of Barack Obama. It is no secret that I am liberal in my leanings. It is no secret that I am a life long Democrat, and proud of that fact. However, I think that all of us need to take a few moments, regardless of our personal political leanings, to recognize the significance of this day. Take a few moments to appreciate the history that was made yesterday as the Democratic Party voted to nominate the nations first black Presidential nominee. Take a few moments to recognize the absolute significance of Barack Obama accepting the nomination 45 years to the day after Dr. King delivered his famous speech. Take a few moments, my fellow Americans, and feel proud.
Today I am truly proud.
I am proud that this history is being made by my political party (hey – at least I am honest about it!). I am proud that this history is being made in my home town of Denver. I am proud of the speeches that were made this week. I am proud of my country and my countrymen. I am proud that I have gotten to witness this day with my husband who was moved to tears by the events of the week.
I can get cynical sometimes, when I see thoughtlessness and when I see ignorance. I tend to throw up my arms in frustration, and can at times feel indignation and anger toward people who want to judge me or my husband by our skin color rather than by who we are and what we have accomplished. It can make a nice girl turn militant and can leave me looking for La Raza so that I can be with La Gente until it’s time for La Revolucion.
But today, I have hope. Today I have pride. Today, I think we are closer to realizing Dr. King’s dream than we have ever been in our history. Maybe one day we truly will be a nation that is able to judge people by the content of our character rather than something as superficial as skin color.
It is my dream too. I have the same dream because the great Dr. King dreamed it for all of us. He spoke about it with such passion that we all know those words. They resonate to the very core of who we are as a nation, stripping us bare to the harsh reality of who we were, and showing us the dream of who we might one day become.
So today, as we reflect on the dream in light of the events of the day, remember how far we’ve come.
And how far we still have to go.
The full text of Dr. King’s speech is available here.