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Tutor Yousie 's Column

"I Have a Dream"

Jan 20, 2020

English Level: Advanced/Advanced-Intermediate 

Today, Monday, January 20, 2020, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The third Monday of January was designated as a national (federal) holiday to commemorate him in 1986.

Born on January 15, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. entered Morehouse College at the age of 15, graduated with a Bachelor's degree at 19, worked as a minister, and completed his Ph.D. at Boston University at 26. A brilliant man, he was an iconic civil rights activist during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. throughout the 1960s. Among his many accomplishments, he was an incredible orator, delivering up to 450 speeches annually. His incredibly influential life was cut short in 1968 aged only 39 when he was assassinated. Still, his memory lives on and his work and speeches continue to ripple into the 21st century. 

Among his most famous speeches is his "I Have a Dream" public speech given in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. The powerful words in his speech are just as compelling today, in which he stressed the importance of civil and economic rights and an end to racism in America. It was delivered to a crowd of over 250,000 people and it remains one of the most memorable, well-known, and most-cited American speeches.


Despite the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights leaders of the 1960s, racism is far from eradicated in the United States. Still, as Dr. King dreamt of an equal and fairer world in his speech in 1963, we, too, can dream of a better future and we can all be "free at last". 

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