Black History: Special Delivery!!
August 28, 2017 marks the 54th anniversary of the historic “I Have A Dream Speech” given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, in Washington, DC during the March on Washington. More than 200,000 flooded the capital for the historic speech. Below are some little known facts about the March that you may not know.
- The March on Washington along with the speech given by Dr. King was said to pressure President Kennedy to approve federal civil rights legislation in Congress.
- Dr. King was not the “originator” of the “I have a dream” language contained in his speech. It is likely that this language was first used by then 22 year old Prathia Hall after the burning of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in 1962. King had preached at a church service following the bombing. Prathia Hall prayed during the service. During her prayer she shared the “I have a dream” language. Check out our previous Black Mail post for more information on Prathia Hall. https://wordpress.com/post/blackmail4u.com/169
- Originally, the speech was entitled, “Normalcy – Never Again” and did not contain any “I have a dream” wording. Dr. King was encouraged by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who whispered to him during the speech, “Tell ‘em about the dream Martin. Tell em’ about the dream.“
- Dr. King was the last speaker of the day. Many of the march participants, had already left to return to their homes and missed the historic speech.
- William Sullivan, head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence division wrote a memo after the speech labeling Dr. King “as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.”
- King’s speech, initially did not get much attention in the media. The march itself received most of the media attention. By the time of King’s death in 1968, the speech, had been largely forgotten.
- Dr. King first shared, “I have a dream” during a speech in Detroit two months before the March on Washington. Several of his staffers actually tried to discourage him from using the language again.
Check out a video excerpt of the speech: