This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent




Today is the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech.” It rings especially loud again in 2020 with the death of George Floyd and just days ago the shooting of Jacob Blake. This year it’s not the mole hill vision than stands out to me, but the continued challenge that MLK makes so clear:

“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. 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. And 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. And 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.”

I Have a Dream delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.


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