I Have a Dream


Monday was MLK Day in the United States, a wonderful opportunity for people around the world to remember Dr. King and what he stood and fought for. The “I Have a Dream Speech,” delivered at the “March on Washington” in 1963, is one of the most important speeches ever made, and just one of the many incredible achievements of Dr. King. Here is a video of that speech.


A few highlights of the speech by Martin Luther King Jr:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, 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 sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brother- hood.”

“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.”

“I have a dream that… 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.”

“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

“When we allow freedom to ring — when we let it ring from every city 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, Great God almighty, We are free at last.”

MLK Day


Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the 3rd Monday of January as a Federal Holiday in the United States. The day is observed in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, January 15, 1929. In 2022 the date of MLK Day is January 17.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s in the USA. In life Dr. King was at the forefront of the fight against segregation, discrimination and other forms of racism, especially as entrenched in state and federal law. Tragically assassinated in 1967, the legacy of King has continued to inspire those who fight against racism and other forms of social injustice.

Martin Luther King Jr. was committed to the principles of non-violence. King was convinced that the only way to fight against the hate and violence and injustice of racsim was to counter it with peaceful resistance and non-violent protest. Perhaps more than anything else, this is why Dr. King is a hero to millions of people in the US, in Canada, and around the world.


Songs of Peace: One Love

“Let’s get together and feel all right”

–Bob Marley, “One Love”

source: YouTube / John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band

There are many songs by Bob Marley that are considered “Songs of Peace.” Today we take a moment to consider “One Love.”


November 11 is Remembrance Day
November 5-11 is Veterans’ Week
November is Peace Month

Songs of Peace: Give Peace a Chance

“All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

–John Lennon

source: YouTube / John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band

The antiwar movement of the 1960s and early 1970’s focused on the American war in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. Many songs became forever associated with this era, perhaps none more so than “Give Peace a Chance.”

Although he was still a member of the Beatles, this was John Lennon’s first single released without the “Fab Four.” Originally the writing credits went to both Lennon and Paul McCartney, however later Lennon claimed that Yoko Ono deserved a credit, not Paul. The song was the musical highlight of the “Bed-In” of Lennon and Ono in Montreal in 1969. “Give Peace a Chance” would become what many consider to be the ultimate antiwar anthem.

Of course, many others will argue the ultimate antiwar anthem is John Lennon’s masterpiece, “Imagine.” Look for that in a future “Songs of Peace” post.

Find out more:

Give Peace a Chance (Wikipedia)

Official Site of John Lennon

Pop Matters: John Lennon


November 11 is Remembrance Day
November 5-11 is Veterans’ Week
November is Peace Month

Peace


On Remembrance Day we reflect on the horrors of war and the terrible costs paid by soldiers, and by all people who live and die in war. This month in the school library we look at the theme of peace: Peacemakers, antiwar movements, pacifism, non-violent resistance, peace movements, conscientious objectors, and alternatives to violence and war.

Malcolm X


Born on this day in 1925, Malcolm Little grew up in poverty and lived a life of crime. While in prison he worked to self-educate and converted to Islam, Publicly he became known as Malcolm X, dropping what he referred to as his “slave name.” Intelligent, articulate and charismatic, Malcolm X would become one of the leading figures of the fight for equality for African-Americans. In contrast to Martin Luther King who called for non-violent protest, Malcolm X believed that violence would be necessary for black people to gain their rights. Early on he was considered to be a black-supremacist who believed that blacks and whites could never live together. However, he would eventually disavow that position, and would preach the equality of all people and express a hope for peaceful coexistence. In the years prior to his death, he began to reach out with a willingness to work with other Civil Rights groups and leaders. In particular it was after the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims, where he experienced the coming together of people of all races and backgrounds, that he embraced the possibility of peaceful change rather than inevitable violence. Tragically, he wouldn’t live long in pursuit of those dreams. He was assassinated in 1965 by members of the group he formerly led, the Nation of Islam.

For more on the life of Malcolm X:

MalcolmX.com (official website of the estate of Malcolm X)

The Malcolm X Project at Columbia University

American Experience: Timeline of Malcolm X

Malcolm

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on this day in 1929.

Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, as African-Americans struggled for freedom and equality in the United States. Dr. King was a brilliant orator and an inspirational leader. Dr. King was committed to the principals to non-violence, in part based on the example of Gandhi in India.  He believed that the only path towards a peaceful resolution of the plight of black people in the United States was through non-violence, civil disobedience, and peaceful protest.

source: CC / Wes Kandela

For more on the life of Dr. King:

Martin Luther King Junior Day

In the United States, the 3rd Monday in January is a National Holiday in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. While it is not a holiday in Canada, Canadians and people all over the world will take some time today to acknowledge the tremendous legacy of Dr. King as a champion of freedom, equality and peace.   mlk


Check out our book display in honour of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including these titles:


Learn more online:

Muhammad Ali

aliCassius Clay was born on this day in 1942.  After winning a Gold Medal in the Olympics for the United States, he would turn professional and go on to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali as part of his conversion to Islam.  Ali would win the Heavyweight Title an unprecedented three times, most famously regaining the title in 1974, seven years after having his title stripped from him in 1967.  When Ali was drafted for military service by the US government, likely for duty in Vietnam, Ali refused induction as a conscientious objector, citing his religious beliefs and his opposition to the Vietnam War.  Ali famously told the world that “No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill, and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people the world over. This is the day and age when such evil injustice must come to an end”

Ali was arrested and found guilty of draft evasion. Boxing authorities stripped him of his title and banned him from the sport for nearly 4 years.  Although the Supreme Court eventually overturned his criminal conviction, he had lost his title and many years of his athletic prime.  Remarkably, he fought his way back to the top, defeating George Forman in the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974. After losing the title again in 1978 to Leon Spinks, Ali won the rematch to regain the Belt for an unprecedented third Heavyweight Boxing Title.

ali1 ali2 ali3Ali is arguably the greatest athlete in history. In his prime, he was certainly the most famous and recognizable athlete in the entire world. Ali was a polarizing figure, as many hated him for his brash, self-aggrandizing demeanor and his outspoken religious and political statements. However, even more people loved him. To a generation of people all over the globe, Ali was a counter-cultural hero who represented the struggle against racism, against war and against the conservative authorities of the day.

Find out more about Muhammad Ali:

www.ali.com

Muhammad Ali Center

The Greatest by Joyce Carol Oates

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on this day in 1929.

Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, as African-Americans struggled for freedom and equality in the United States. Dr. King was a brilliant orator and an inspirational leader. Dr. King was committed to the principals to non-violence, in part based on the example of Gandhi in India.  He believed that the only path towards a peaceful resolution of the plight of black people in the United States was through non-violence, civil disobedience, and peaceful protest.

source: wikimedia commons / Library of Congress

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated as a national holiday in the United States on the 3rd Monday of January.

For more on the life of Dr. King: