Next Wednesday marks fifty years since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On that day, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. But has King’s speech been misunderstood for all these years?
Nation columnist Gary Younge appeared on Democracy Now! to contrast King’s actual vision—an indictment of inequality and racism—with the way its been muted and misremembered in schoolbooks today. “I think today, the way the speech and the march are understood is wrapped in the flag, and seen as one more example of American genius, when in fact it was a mass, multiracial, dissident act,” Younge said.
Read an excerpt from Gary Younge’s new book The Speech: The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream.