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The Unfinished Dream:
The “I Have A Dream” Dream Quest Continues:
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s August 28, 1963 Speech:
We Continue to March for Education, Jobs and Freedom
By Ron Edwards and Beacon on the Hill Press,
Publishers of The Minneaplis Story, Through My Eyes, as told to Peter Jessen

August 25, 2003
Inscription placed July 2003 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate this 40th anniversary:

I have a dream
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The March on Washington
For Jobs and Freedom
August 28, 1963

There are others I’m responsible for: Stenvig [Mayor of Minneapolis], Mayor Yorty of Los Angeles, two mayoral candidates in New York. They were making Alabama speeches with a Minneapolis, Los Angeles and New York accent. The only thing they omitted was the drawl. George Wallace, 1969 “No education, no jobs, no homes.
—Nellie Stone Johnson Black woman, co-founder Of DFL in Minnesota

If the law is of such a nature that it requires you to be an agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law.
—Henry David Thoreau, 1849

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, /perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.
—Henry David Thoreau, 1849

18th & 19th Centuries: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln. 20th Century: Booker T. Washington & W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr. & Thurgood Marshall. 21st Century: Who will step up?

These seven men, a White trio and a Black quartet, were men who offer us a great understanding, both in terms of self and in terms of leading others. The White trio set the stage (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln); the Black Quartet opened it to all. What White and Black men and women will now continue their work?
—Ron Edwards, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” p. 85

Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery…for you are called to freedom…If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
—St. Paul, Galatians 5:1, 13, 15

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one…heirs according to the promise.
—St. Paul, Galatians 3:28

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

August 28, 2003, is the 40th anniversary of the March On Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr., and, thus, the 40th anniversary of his “I have a dream speech.” To honor both the memory and ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr., I have provided excerpts from him from three sources, his April 16, 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” his January 1965 interview Playboy magazine, and his August 28, 1968 “I have a dream” speech. Following these are excerpts from my book, “The Minneapolis Story” on Dreaming Freedom.

Read Excepts From:
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
The Playboy Interview
I have a dream
The Minneapolis Story on Dreaming Freedom

Note that the inscription above doesn’t say the march “to” Washington, but rather the march “on” Washington. The best summary is by Nellie Stone Johnson: “No education, no jobs, no homes.” The American Dream is to get a good education that enables a good job that earns a good income in order to buy a good home. That is the dream for everyone. Martin Luther King, Jr. served notice that not only was this also the dream for Blacks, but that Blacks were qualifiable for education, jobs, and homes, despite the 200 years of slavery, the ensuing 78 years of Jim Crow, and the 35 years of exclusion due to the 1968 Kerner Commission’s conclusion that Blacks can’t make it on their own as other people, without government help. The results of this has been plain for any to see: many have been purposefully and intentionally disqualified and ghettoized on inner city plantations, most created by democrats. In my book I summarize the progress made in my Interludes 5 and 7. But that means only that the glass is half full. For those in the inner city, the glass is half empty: my Interludes 2 and 10.

As the quote from segregationist George Wallace shows, Martin Luther King, Jr. found that the Mason-Dixon line stretched, as he put it, across the Canadian border between the two oceans. Other dimensions of the Black struggle are covered in my book and in the Solution Papers section of my web site, For this paper we pause in the struggle to remember a man unlike any other. No one has come forth like him just as no White man has come forth either. We honor Dr. King and his ideals with a national policy, a holiday, one which Presidents of the Democratic Party refused to sign, a holiday signed into law by the Republican, Ronald Reagan. Times have changed. 25% of young Blacks today under 30 consider themselves Independents, not Democrats or Republicans. They are a fertile ground for voters. I encourage them to vote in every election. And I encourage them to vote for which ever party keeps its eye on the prize of freedom for all, Black and White.

Clearly, there are those of us who won’t take our eyes off the prize, won’t support any political party “just because,” won’t stop marching, and won’t stop dreaming, until, with Amazing Grace, we find that not only We shall overcome, we will have overcome. The march continues. And then we’ll dream new dreams. And we will continue to march for justice and fairness for all, which means not equal results for all but equal access and equal opportunity for all.

The problem we face today is the hijacking of the civil rights movement from its historic purpose of righting the wrongs done to slaves to now incorporating everyone with a grievance, including new immigrants. The de jure Jim Crow laws are gone. But the defacto Jim Crow laws, especially those of America’s inner city ghettoes, remain, and they have nothing to do with gender, sexual orientation, the disabled nor the environment. Perhaps the crack in the movement began with the moral crusade against the Vietnam War, which opened the door to other worthy causes, real and imagined.

Dr. King reminds us that the civil rights movement was about righting historic wrongs that left too many Blacks as well as Whites in poverty and hopelessness and little or no education. To raise others out of poverty and underemployment means Blacks must be raised if not first, then simultaneously. He opposed any, Black or White, who said things were going too fast or that they should wait. Indeed, he wrote a book entitled “Why We Can’t Wait.”

This is why I chose, for my book’s Interlude 4, “The Greatest Quartet”: “We can make it on our own” George Washington Carver, “But let’s make it happen now” W.E.B. DuBois, “I have a dream for all” Martin Luther King, Jr., and “We will make the law serve everyone” Thurgood Marshall.

Despite the historic passages of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, these were essentially canceled for inner city ghetto Blacks by the liberal ideology of the Democrats and their 1998 Kerner Commission Report which stalled both the educational and economic agenda for enabling Blacks to close the historic gap with Whites by declaring that Blacks were not like other people and thus could not make it on their own (as, for examples, immigrants did). Blacks “imprisoned” in the inner city ghettoes of lower classes are in double binds regarding their value. My goal is to work with the poor in the inner cities so that both, Black and White, emerge with the prize in sight of the freedom that allows equal access and equal opportunity in education, jobs, and housing, as well as in political participation and entrepreneurial growth such that equal access and equal opportunity leads them to the social, economic, political and community mainstream.

And now, let us remember the prize and the cost of running the race to achieve that prize, as we are reminded to keep on striving, in these words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Letter from the Birmingham Jail
April 16, 1963

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

…I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

…It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action. We have gone through these steps in Birmingham…Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.

As in so many past experiences, our hopes bad been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self-purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves : “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?” We decided to schedule our direct-action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic with withdrawal program would be the by-product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

…You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

…I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

…Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet like speed toward gaining political independence, but we stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

…One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God…An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression ‘of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

…In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

…To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

…I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

…We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

…More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this ‘hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.

…Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to 6e solid rock of human dignity.

…a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self-respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses.

…If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides-and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action.

…But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that an men are created equal…” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime—the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jeans Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

…[Whites] have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach-infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as “dirty nigger lovers.” Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful “action” antidotes to combat the disease of segregation.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: “Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother.” In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities in the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice.

…Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping “order” and “preventing violence.” I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if .you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.

…One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

…Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,


The Playboy Interview: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
a candid conversation with the Nobel prize-winning leader of the civil rights movement
Playboy Magazine, January 1965, pp. 65-78

From the Playboy introduction
…became world renowned as a champion of Gandhi’s philosophy of passive resistance…at 27 on the front lines of a nonviolent Negro revolution against racial injustice…By the end of that “long hot summer” [of 1963], American Negroes had won more tangible gains than in any year since 1865…he works 20 hours a day, travels 325,000 miles and makes 450 speeches a year throughout the country on behalf of the Negro cause.

The three excerpts chosen for the first page picture sequence:
“Measures must be taken at the Federal level to curb the reign of terror in the South. It’s getting so anybody can kill a Negro and get away with it, as long as they go through the motions of a trial.”

“I’m getting sick and tired of people saying that this movement has been infiltrated b Communists. There are as many Communists in this freedom movement as there are Eskimos in Florida.”

“The Nobel award recognizes the amazing discipline of the Negro. Though we have had riots, the bloodshed we would have known without the discipline of nonviolence would have been frightening

Excerpts from the interview (conducted by Alex Haley, who kept framing questions in terms of Negroes and King responded in terms of the poor and downtrodden, Black and White):
“Well the most pervasive mistake I have made was in believing that because our cause was just, we could be sure that the white ministers of the South, once their Christian consciences were challenged, would rise to our aid. I felt that white ministers would take our cause to the white power structures. I ended up, of course, chastened and disillusioned. As our movement unfolded, and direct appeals were made to white ministers, most folded their hands and some even took stands against us.”

“The projection of a social gospel, in my opinion, is the true witness of a Christian life. This is the meaning of the true life. This is the meaning of the true ecclesia – the inner, spiritual church. The church once changed society. It was then a thermostat of society. But today I feel that too much of the [white] church is merely a thermometer, which measures rather than molds popular opinion.”

“Where were their voices when a black race took upon itself the cross of protest against man’s injustice to man? Where were their voices when defiance and hatred were called for by white men who sat in these very churches?”

“For never in Christian history within a Christian country, have Christians churches been on the receiving end of such naked brutality and violence as we are witnessing here in America today. Not since the days of the Christians in the catacombs has God’s house, as a symbol, weathered such attack as the Negro churches.”

“For the same reasons the slaves sang Negroes today sing freedom songs for we, too, are in bondage. We sing out our determination that, ‘We shall overcome, black and white together, we shall overcome someday.’”

“Another of the major strengths of the nonviolent weapon is its strange power to transform and transmute the individuals who subordinate themselves to its disciplines, investing them with a cause that is larger than themselves. They become for the firs time, somebody, and they have, for the first time, the courage to be free. When the Negro finds the courage to be free, he faces dogs and guns and clubs and fire hoses totally unafraid, and the white man with those dogs, guns, clubs and fire hoses see that the Negro they have traditionally called ‘boy’ has become a man.”

“Our white brothers must be made to understand that nonviolence is a weapon fabricated of love. It is a sword that heals. Our nonviolent direct-action program has its objective not the creation of tensions, but he surfacing of tensions already present. We set out to precipitate a crisis situation that must open the door to negotiation. I am not afraid the world ‘crisis’ and ‘tension.’ I deeply oppose violence, but constructive crisis and tension are necessary for growth. Innate in all life, and all growth, is tension. Only in death is there an absence of tension. To cure injustices, you must expose them before the light of human conscience and the bar of public opinion, regardless of whatever tension that exposure generates. Injustices to the Negro must be brought out into the open where they cannot be evaded.”

“We have five aims: first, to stimulate nonviolent, direct, mass action to expose and remove the barriers of segregation and discrimination; second to disseminate the creative philosophy and techniques of nonviolence through local and area workshops; third, to secure the right and unhampered use of the ballot for every citizen; fourth to achieve full citizenship rights and the total integration of the Negro into American life; and fifth, to reduce the cultural flag through our citizenship training program.”

[Regarding King’s “dissatisfaction with the Civil Rights Act resented by many whites who calling the Negro ‘ungrateful’ and ‘unrealistic’ to press his demands for more.] This is a litany to those of us in this field. ‘What more will the Negro want?’ ‘What will it take to make these demonstrations end?’ Well, I would like to reply with another rhetorical question: Why do white people seem to find it so difficult to understand that the Negro is sick and tired of having reluctantly parceled out to him those rights and privileges which all others receive upon birth or entry to America? I never cease to wonder at the amazing presumption of much of white society assuming that they have the right to bargain with the Negro for his freedom.

“Few white people even today, will face the clear fact that the very future and destiny of this country are tied up in what answer will be given to the Negro. And that answer must be given soon.”

“What little progress has been made – that includes the Civil Rights Act – has applied primarily to the middle-class Negro. Among the masses, especially in the Northern ghettos, the situation remains about the same, and for some it is worse.”

“On the contrary, I have been dismayed at the degree to which abysmal ignorance seems to prevail among many state, city, and even Federal officials on the whole question of racial justice and injustice.”

“I wonder at men who dare to feel that they have some paternalistic right to set the timetable for another man’s liberation.”

“But when I consider the true meaning of the word, I decided that perhaps I would like to think of myself as an extremist – in the light of the spirit which made Jesus and extremist for love. If it sounds as though I am comparing myself to the Savior, let me remind you that all who honor themselves with the claim of being ‘Christians’ should compare themselves to Jesus. Thus I consider myself an extremist for that brotherhood of man which Paul so nobly expressed: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.’ Love is the only force on earth that can be dispensed or received in an extreme manner, without any qualifications, without any harm to the giver or the receiver.”

“Yes – morally if not legally. For there are two kinds of laws; man’s and God’s. A man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God, is a just law. But a man-made code that is inharmonious with the moral law is an unjust law. And an unjust law, as St. Augustine said, is no law at all. Thus a law that is morally null and void, and must be defied until it is legally null and void as well. Let us not forget the memories of 6,000,000 who died, that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal,’ and that everything the Freedom Fighters in Hungary did was ‘illegal.’ In spite of that, I am sure that I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers if I had lived in Germany during Hitler’s reign, as some Christian priests and ministers did do, often as the cost of their lives. And if I lived now in a communist country where principles dear to the Christian’s faith are suppressed, II know that I would openly advocated defiance of the country’s anti-religious laws – again, just as some Christian priests and ministers are doing today behind the Iron Curtain. Right here in America today there are white ministers, priests and rabbis who have shed blood in the support of our struggle against a web of injustice, much of which is supported by immoral man-made laws.”

“Well, the Northern white, having little actual contact with the Negro is devoted to the abstract principle of cordial interracial relations. The North has long considered, in a theoretical way, that it supported brotherhood and the equality of man, but the truth is that deep prejudices and discriminations exist in hidden and subtle and covert disguises. The South’s prejudice and discrimination, on the other hand, has been applied against the Negro in obvious, open, overt and glaring forms – which make the problem easier to get at. The Southern white man has the advantage of far more actual contact with Negroes than the Northerner. A major problem is that this contract has been paternalistic and poisoned by the myth of racial superiority.”

[Regarding his response to the fact that many Southern whites vow that white racial superiority – and the Negro inferiority – are a biological fact, King said] You may remember that during the rise of Nazi Germany, a rash of books by respected German scientists appeared, supporting the master-race theory. This utterly ignorant fallacy has been so thoroughly refuted by the social scientists, as well as by medical science, that any individual who goes on believing that it is standing in an absolutely misguided and diminishing circle. The American Anthropological Association has unanimously adopted a resolution repudiating statements that Negroes are biologically, in innate mental ability or in any other way inferior to whites. Thee collective weight and authority of world scientists are embodied in an UNESCO report on races which flatly refutes the theory of innate superiority among any ethnic group. And as far as Negro ‘blood’ is concerned, medical science finds the same four blood types in all race groups.

When the Southern white finally accepts this simple fact – as he eventually must – beautiful results will follow, for we will have come a long way toward transforming his master-servant perspective into a person-to-person perspective. The Southern man, discovering the ‘nonmyth’ Negro, exhibits all the passion of the new convert, seeing the black man as a man among men for the first time. The South, if it is to survive economically, must make dramatic changes, and these must included the Negro. People of good will in the South, who are the vast majority, have the challenge to be open and honest, and to turn a deaf ear on the shrill cries of the irresponsible few of the lunatic fringe. I think and pray they will.

“If they had been, there would have been no riot, for we believe that only just means may be used in seeking a just end. We believe that lasting gains can be made – and they have been made – only by practicing what we preach: a policy of nonviolent, peaceful protest. The riots, North and South, have involved mobs – not the disciplined, nonviolent, direct-action demonstrators with whom I identify. We do not condone lawlessness, looting and violence committed by the racist or the reckless of any color.

I must say, however, that riots such as have occurred do achieve at least one partially positive effect: They dramatically focus national attention upon the Negro’s discontent. Unfortunately, they also give the white majority an excuse, a provocation, to look away from the cause of the riots – the poverty and the deprivation and the degradation off the Negro, especially in the slums and ghettos where the riots occur – and to talk instead of looting, and of the breakdown of law and order. It is never circulated that some of the looters have been white people, similarly motivated by their own poverty. In one riot in a Northern city, aside from the Negroes and Puerto Ricans who were arrested, there were also 158 white people – including mothers stealing food, children’s shoes and other necessity items. They poor, white and black, were rebelling together against the establishment.

By ‘establishment’ I mean the white leadership – which I hold as responsible as anyone for the riots, for not removing the conditions that cause them. The deep frustration, the seething desperation of the Negro today is a product of slum housing, chronic poverty, woefully inadequate education and substandard schools. The Negro is trapped in a long and desolate corridor with no exit sign, caught in a vicious socioeconomic vise. And he is ostracized as is no other minority group in America by the evil of oppressive and constricting prejudice based solely upon his color. A righteous man has no alternative but to resist such an evil system. If he does not have the courage to resist nonviolently, then he runs the risk of a violent emotional explosion. As much as I deplore violence, there is one evil that is worse than violence, and that’s cowardice. It is still my basic article of faith that social justice can be achieved and democracy advanced only to the degree that there is firm adherence to nonviolent action and resistance in the pursuit of social justice. But America will be faced with the ever-present threat of violence, rioting and senseless crime as long as Negroes by the hundreds of thousands are packed into malodorous, rat-plagued ghettos; as long as negroes remain smothered by poverty in the midst of an affluent society; as long as Negroes are made to feel like exiles in their own land; as long as Negroes continue to be dehumanized; as long as negroes see their freedom endlessly delayed and diminished by the head winds of tokenism and small handouts from the white power structure. No nation can suffer any great tragedy than to cause millions of its citizens to feel that they have no stake in their own society.

Understand that I am trying only to explain the reasons for violence and the threat of violence. Let me say again that by on means under no circumstance do I condone outbreaks of looting and lawlessness. I feel that every responsible Negro leader must point out, with all possible vigor, that anyone who perpetrates and participates in a riot is immoral as well as impractical – that the use of immoral means will not achieve the moral end of racial justice.”

“He remains throttled, as he has always been, by vague, intangible economic and social deprivations. Until the concerned power structures begin to grapple creatively with these fundamental inequities, it will be difficult for violence to be eliminated. The longer our people see no progress, or halting progress, the easier it will be for them to yield to the counsels of hatred and demagoguery.”

“The Negro across America, looking at his television set, sees black statesmen voting in the United Nations on vital world issues, knowing that in many of America’s cities, he himself is not yet permitted to place his ballot. The Negro hears of black kings and potentates ruling in palaces, while he remains ghettoized in urban slums. It is only natural that Negroes would react to this extreme irony.”

“In short, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Violence is not going to solve our problems.”

“But the Negro revolution is seeking integration, no independence. Those fighting for independence have the purpose to drive out the oppressors. But here in America, we’ve got to live together. We’ve got to find a way to reconcile ourselves to living in community, one group with the other. The struggle of the Negro in America, to be successful, must be waged with resolute efforts, but efforts that are kept strictly within the framework of our democratic society. This means reaching, educating, and moving large enough groups of people of both races to stir the conscience of the nation.”

“All major industrial ghetto areas should establish serious biracial discussions of community problems, and of ways to begin solving them. Instead of ambulance service, municipal leaders need to provide preventative medicine. Secondly, these communities should make serious efforts to provide work and training for unemployed youth, through job-and-training programs such as the HARYOU-ACT program in New York City. Thirdly, all cities concerned should make first-priority efforts to provide immediate quality education for Negro youth – instead of conducting studies for the next five years. Young boys and girls now in the ghettos must be enabled to feel that they count, that somebody cares about them; they must be able to feel hope. And on a longer-range basis, the physical ghetto itself must be eliminated, because these are the environmental conditions that germinate riots. It is both socially and morally suicidal to continue a pattern of deploring effects while failing to come to grips with the causes. Ultimately, law and order will be maintained only when justice and dignity are accorded impartially to all.”

“I am positive, moreover, that the money spent would be more than amply justified by the benefits that would accrue to the nation through a spectacular decline in school dropouts family breakups, crime rates, illegitimacy, swollen relief rolls, rioting and other social evils.”

“Another example is the fact that after World war Two, the years when it became policy to build and maintain the largest military machine that would has ever known, America also took upon itself, through the Marshall Plan and other measures, the financial relief and rehabilitation of millions of European people. If American can afford to underwrite its allies and ex-enemies, it can certainly afford – and has a much great obligation, as I see it – to do at least as well by its own no-less-needy countrymen.”

“It is economic fact that a program such as I propose would certainly cost far less than any computation of two centuries of unpaid wages plus accumulated interest.”

“I do not intend that this program of economic aid should apply only to the Negro: it should benefit the disadvantaged of all races.”

“The closest analogy is the GI Bill of Rights. Negro rehabilitation in America would require approximately the same breadth of program—which would not place an undue burden on our economy. Just as was the case with the returning soldier, such a bill for the disadvantaged and impoverished could enable them to buy homes without cash, at lower and easier repayment terms. They could negotiate loans from banks to launch businesses. They could receive, as did ex-GIs, special points to place them ahead in competition for civil service jobs. Under certain circumstances of physical disability, medical care and long-term financial grants could be made available. And together wit these rights, a favorable social could be created to encourage the preferential employment of the disadvantaged, as was the case so many years with veterans. During those years, it might be noted, there was no appreciable resentment of the preferential treatment being given to the special group. America was only compensating her veterans for their time lost from school or from business.”

“We must develop a Federal program of public works, retraining and jobs for all – so that none, white or black, will have cause to feel threatened. At the present time, thousands of jobs a week are disappearing for the wake of automation and other production efficiency techniques. Black and white, we will all be harmed unless something grand and imaginative is done. The unemployed, poverty-stricken white man must be made to realize that he is in the very same boat with the Negro.”

“We must expunge from our society the myths and half-truths that engender such groundless fears as these. In the first place, there is no truth to the myth that Negroes depreciate property. The fact is that most Negroes are kept out of residential neighborhoods so long that when one of us is finally sold a home, it’s already depreciated. In the second place, we must dispel the negative and harmful atmosphere that has been created by avaricious and unprincipled realtors who engage in “blockbusting.” If we had in America really serious efforts to break down discrimination in housing, and at the same time a concerted program of Government aid to improve housing for Negroes, I think many white people would be surprised at how many Negroes would choose to live among themselves, exactly as Poles and Jews and other ethnic groups do.”

“But with the Negro slavery separated families from families, and the pattern of disunity that we see among Negroes today derives directly from this cruel fact of history. It is also a cruel fact of history that the Negro, generally speaking, has not developed a responsible sense of financial values.”

“Negroes, who amount to about 11 percent of the American population, are reported to consume about 40 percent of the Scotch whisky imported into the U.S. and to spend over $72,000,000 a year in jewelry stores. So when we come asking for civil right donations, or help for the United Negro College Fund, most Negroes are trying to make ends meet.”

“It would be impossible to record the contribution that the Jewish people have made toward the Negro’s struggle for freedom – it has been so great.”

[Regarding the data showing that only one Negro in ten has ever participated physically in any form of social protest.] It is significant, I think, that during each of our city struggles, the usual average of crimes committed by Negroes has dropped to almost nothing.

But it is true, undeniably, that there are many Negroes who will never fight for freedom – yet who will be eager enough to accept it when it comes. And there are million so of Negroes who have never known anything but oppression, who are so devoid of pride and self-respect that they have resigned themselves to segregation. Other Negroes, comfortable and complacent, consider that they are above the struggle of the masses. And still others seek personal profit from segregation.”

“My only salary is from my church, $4000 a year, plus $2000 more a year for what is known as ‘pastoral care.’ To earn a grand total of about $10,000 a year, I keep about $4,000 to $5,000 a year for myself from the honorariums that I receive from various peaking engagements. About 90 percent of myth speaking is from S.C.L.C. and it brings into our treasury something around $200,000 a year. Additionally, I get a fairly sizable but fluctuation income in the form of royalties from my writings. But all of this, too, I give to my church, or to my alma mater, Morehouse College, here in Atlanta.

I believe as sincerely as I believe anything that the struggle for freedom in which S.C.L.C. is engaged is not one that should reward any participant with individual wealth and gain. I think I’d rise up in my grave if I died leaving two or three hundred thousand dollars.”

“If the Constitution were today applied equally and impartially to all o America’s citizens, in every section of the country, in every court and code of law, there would be no need for any group of citizens to seek extralegal redress.”

“As Reinhold Niebuhr has written, individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily abandon their unjust posture, but groups tend to be more immoral, and more intransigent, than individuals.”

“Similarly, not long ago, I toured in eight communities of the state of Mississippi. And I have carried with me ever since a visual image of the penniless and unlettered, and of the expressions on their faces – of deep and courageous determination to cast off the imprint of the past and become free people. I welcome the opportunity to be a part of this great drama, for it is a drama that will determine America’s destiny. IF the problem is not solved, America will be on the road to self-destruction. But if it is solved, America will just as surely be on the high road of the fulfillment of the founding fathers’ dream, when they wrote: ‘We hold these truths to be self evident…”

Excerpts from Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech:

August 28, 1963, on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check—a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold, which leads into the palace of justice. 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.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and 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 the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four 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 today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village 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! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Excerpts from “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes
by Ron Edwards, October 2002

I am not one of those. I still believe in the American ideal, in the American dream of freedom and liberty for all. (p. 8)

Now we have a new season of Jim Crow, more clever and better disguised, that is a counter-movement to return to the Civil Rights Movement. That is now happening in Minneapolis with a vengeance. Hence, I write this book. My dream is that we can finally achieve a season of content. That is my dream. It was the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. I know that you, the reader, have a dream. Above, I quote john a. powell on our capacity to dream. But before we can dream the best for Minneapolis, we have to step back and be dispassionate about what has prevented our dreams. Then we can be passionate about achieving our dream of justice and fairness and equal access and opportunity for all. We need to find the truth of the past in order to build an honest future. It will take a lot of connecting the dots to do so. We need to understand the chessboard of Minneapolis and how no matter what move we make, the powers make two, constantly pursuing their goal of putting us under checkmate. (p. 16)

In my Conclusion, I recite why and how the negatives can be turned to positives, and provide my vision, my dream, and my prayer of hope for Minneapolis. I envision a dream and encourage us all to work together to sustain our dreams to stand tall and free. (p. 23)

Aren’t we taught that it is the pioneer spirit that made America, the spirit of people unafraid to brave the unknown in pursuit of their dreams? (p. 27)

My dream then, as now, was to make a difference, to advocate the American dream for all: truth, justice, fairness, and economic integration into the economic, political, and social mainstream by all people of poverty. (p. 50)

These influences are at work throughout this book, as they have influenced me for 40 years, as I work to make a difference, to advocate the American dream for all. For over 40 years, I have never strayed from this vision. I have tasted defeat and I have tasted reform. But always, the goal was the thing. (p. 56)

Shelby Steele calls it what he titled his book: A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America. (p. 57)

Our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Amendments are what have given us the chance to continue to fight the good fight and pursue the American Dream even in the presence of those who would prevent us from doing so. (p. 63)

Booker T. Washington. “Pragmatist.” Born in slavery in 1856, he set out to enable Black men to achieve and succeed despite the White man’s yoke (wrote Up From Slavery). Booker T. Washington was an educator, reformer and the most influential black leader of his time (1856-1915). He preached a philosophy of self-help, racial solidarity and accommodation. His preferential option was for the poor, and to turn the unqualified but qualifiable into the qualified. In his book, Booker T. Washington observes, “Among a large class [of Blacks] there seemed to be a dependence upon the Government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the Federal officials to create one for them.” This is continued today by the…the NAACP. Booker T. Washington urged Blacks to “cast down your buckets” and acquire the skills and capital needed to start at the bottom instead of looking to government for help. (pp. 37-38)

W.E.B. DuBois, “civil rights activist.” Born a freeman in Boston, in 1868, and died in 1963, was a passionate fighter for full civil rights and equality of citizenship for the Negro. He had helped found the NAACP but had broken with it in 1948 because of its timidity. So you can see my concern with the NAACP…as I discuss in Chapter 14, is not a new one. He was not for gradualism at all. DuBois dreamed of creating a “talented tenth” that would supply the leadership necessary to winning rights and full equality for the Negro. He wanted to fill “the central problem of training men for life,” which Washington wanted as well. I maintain that it is precisely for this reason that Whites have sabotaged Black education (Chapter 7) so they would not attain full rights and equality (Chapters 8-9). (p. 87)

Martin Luther King…taught the moral high ground, he lived where people lived, he spent time in jail, as St. Paul did, and he helped turn the dream into a reality. His dream is still the dream of all good people. The question remains how to achieve the dream. We need to remind ourselves of his dream, read it, make it our own, and figure out how to make it come true…We need to remind ourselves of his dream, read it, make it our own, and figure out how to make it come true. His 1963 speech, with excerpts below, are as relevant today as they were 40 years ago. (p. 88).

Thurgood Marshall. “Defender of the oppressed.” He was the gavel announcing justice and getting legal action in the halls of justice. He argued before the Supreme Court the legal case for making the dream legal, striking the de facto slave laws and instituting the de jure freedom laws. (p. 88)

Many Blacks have remained faithful to the dream. We don’t want to give up nor give in, although some do. There are still enough of us willing to do what it takes to overcome hardship and adversity, to achieve the triumph of our own human spirit. What we want now is to instill the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. in both Liberal politics and Black organizational sell-outs that have caused it to be either driven out or seen as not achievable. (p. 309)

But how else can we inspire our youth to understand that Blacks not only can make and hold wealth and property, but that they have, and did so back when the climate for such success was far worse that it is today. We overcame then. We must get our youth to understand that we can overcome now. They must be made to see that they can overcome now, as so many Blacks before them, if we continue to accept them and push them to do so, using the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a beacon, demonstrating to them that it is not government programs and subsidies that are needed long term, but that we need government protection and assurance to guarantee to equal access and equal opportunity. (p. 312)

This has been The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes. What will be The Minneapolis story over the next decade? What dreams will be envisioned? How will visions be sustained? (p. 316)

…what will we envision for the 21st? What will we dream for the next decade? How might what I have written about the Minneapolis story help with future visions, future dreams? (p. 316)

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

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