With heart-warming gladness, I to come together with you today in what will go down as the greatest gathering for freedom in our homeland‘s tale. Five score years ago, a great American in whose betokening shadow we stand today, underwrote his name on the deed giving freedom to the black thrall. This timely boding came as a beacon, a light to thralls in their millions hoping that, their days spent withering in wretchedness' searing fire had come to an end. It came as a listful dawn to end thralldom's long night. But one hundred years on, the black American's life is still not free. One hundred years on, freedom in the blackman’s life is still sadly crippled by asunderhood's shackles and unfairness' hidden fetters.
One hundred years after, the black American still lives on a lonely island, in neediness, amidst wealth's brim. One hundred years after, the black American is still ailing in the nooks, on fellowship's edge, in his own land. So we have come here today to spotlight a shameful tale.
In a way we have come to our homeland’s headtown to call in a draught. When our great folkdom's fathers wrote the haughty words of the Books-of-Rights and the Call for Lonestance, they were underwriting a hight to which every American was to fall erewardly.
The deed was a hight that all men, yes, black and white would have life's yieldless rights, freedom and the right to seek eadiness.
It is fair to see today that Americans have been found wanting in fairness, doing little on this hightful deed in their dealings with their black brothers. Rather than holding worthiness firmly in their hearts in following up this hallowed call to right a wrong, America has given its black folk a bad draught. A draught that has come back with the words ”not enough fee.”
But we unwilling to believe that the horden is without fairness or fee. We also are unwilling to believe that there is not enough fee in this land's great hordern. So we have come to take in fee this draught, a draught that will give upon asking freedom's boons and hele's fairness.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to bring to America’s mind again Now's pressing need . This is not the time to take a cooling-off sop or the calming healthdrug of let's go forward little-by-little.
Now is the time to make true this mighty hight.
Now it is the time for the black folk to rise from aparthood's darkness and lonely hollow into fair-go's sunlit path .
Now it is time to lift our homeland out of this folkstrandish quicksand onto the rock of brotherly steadfastness.
Now is the time to give a fair deal to all God’s children.
It would be dooming for the homeland to stay deaf to the black folk's thronging call for freedoms and rights and underguess their steadfastness in seeking them now. Their sweltering summer's lawful gladlessness will not go-away until there is freedom with fairness. Nineteen sixty-three is not the end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the black American needed only to let-off some steam and will now be fulfilled will have a stark mindjarring awakening if the homeland goes back to its old, unfair ways.
There will be neither be a frithsome soughing over America until the black American is given his full rights. The uprising, like a windwhirl, will shake our folkdom’s frame until the sun shines fairly and evenly on all.
We can never be fulfilled as long as our bodies, weighed down and tired with the day's wayfaring cannot get board and lodging in inns along our highways and in our great towns.
We cannot be fulfilled as long as the black folks leave small wretchsteads to end-up only in larger wretchsteads.
We can never be fulfilled as long as our bairns have taken from them their self-worth and have their selfhood reaved from them by boards that read “ for whites only. ”
We cannot be fulfilled as long as a black folk in Mississippi cannot folk-aye and black folk in New York believe that they have nothing for which to folk-aye.
No, no we are not fulfilled and we will not be fulfilled until fairness rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that many have come here today ordeal-wearied and sorely smited. Others have come from steads where seeking your freedoms has left you harried and hounded, and smitten by harshness' biting winds, wrought upon you by those given to uphold your rights and freedoms.
You have been old-hands at finding understanding and insight in bearing the burden. Go on with your work with the belief that dreeing an unearned weird will make you free.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the wretchsteads, to the small black townships throughout our now great towns, knowing that somehow this wrong can and will be made right.
Let us not wallow in the yesterday’s waned and withered hopes. I say to you, my friends, we have the burdens in our heart and toils in our the mind, today and tomorrow.
I have a dream. It is a foresight deeply and longly rooted in the American mind.
I have a dream that one day this folkdom will rise up and live out the true meaning of its belief that all men are made even.
I have a dream that one day in Georgia's red hills one-time thralls' sons and one-time thrall-owners’ sons will sit down together at brotherhood's table.
I have a mindsight that one day Mississippi shire, a shire sweltering under downtrodden-ness' heat, will be shaped otherwisely into an lush well, brimming with freedom and fairness.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a land where they will be deemed not by their skin’s hue, but by their deeds.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with it’s evil-willed hindering haters, its leader his lips dripping words, bitter, hateful and worth-quelling; that one day right down in Alabama little black children, carls and frows, can link hands with little white carls and frows, as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that every dale shall be swallowed-up, every hill shall be lifted up and every fell shall be made low, the rough places will be made smooth, and the crooked places will be made straight and the Lord's greatness shall be made for all to see and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the belief that I will go back to the South filled with. With this belief we will have the strength to hew out from hopelessness’ fell, hope's stone .
With this hope we can shape anew our heart clattering, sadly beating for our land asundered, into a brotherhood gladdened and gleeful.
With this belief we can work together, make our beseeching to God together, to dree together, to be locked-up together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all God’s bairns will sing with new understanding “My land ‘tis of thee, sweet land of freedom, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the first white settler's pride, from every fellside, let freedom ring!”
And if America is to be a great land, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops in New Hampshire. And let freedom from New York‘s mighty fells ring.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies in Pennsylvania
Let freedom ring from the snow-topped Rockies in Colorado.
Let freedom ring from California’s wendsome slopes.
But not only that, let freedom ring from Georgia’s Stony Fell.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill throughout Mississippi and along every fellside.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every boarding-house and every small hamlet, from every shire and every great town, we can speed up the day when all God’s children, black and white, Jew and those who are not Jewish, Romish-church men and those who are not Romish churchmen, can link hands and sing the old song, in words sung by this land's enthralled black folk , Free at last, free at last. “Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’’
-Quoth Martin Luther King Junior