Tagged: Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

Speeches by a Most “Dangerous” Leader

We end Black History Month with a few speeches from a most “dangerous” leader: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some may find it hard to believe that the oft-quoted Dr. King–with his holiday and national memorial, as well as streets and schools named in his honor–was ever considered to be dangerous. The FBI thought otherwise. Alarmed by the increasing stature he won after delivering the I Have a Dream Speech, the FBI’s surveillance of Dr. King sped into overdrive.

Yes. The very speech that is now so familiar to so many.

The power of the “I Have a Dream” speech, however, was that it was built, in part, on the solid foundation of outstanding speeches and oratory before it. So read or listen to his 1955 Address to the Montgomery Improvement Association and his 1957 “Give Us the Ballot,” speech at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom (an event held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.): lesser known speeches that no doubt helped build Dr. King’s stature.

Also be sure to read the Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March, ahead of President Obama’s visit to Selma, AL next week to mark the 50th Anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march.

Words most certainly have power.