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Martin Luther King's Shattered Dream Essay

1457 words - 6 pages

Martin Luther King's Shattered Dream

"I have a dream" is a phrase heard by more than 200,000 Americans on August 28, 1963, and since then, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" has resonated through millions of heads and thoughts in the world. Eyes search for the reality of his dream, ears search for the freedom bells ringing, hands search for a brother's hand, and mouths search for the songs of freedom. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a utopia where the colors of black and white would become so intertwined that shades of gray would appeared. Martin Luther King, Jr. charged the American people to go out and create a perfect place, and many people have tried, but as long as antiquated moral values remain, America will never fully wake up from the nightmare of racism and enter into the dream of equality.

Of course, not all race relations today are a nightmare; Americans have risen above some of their petty prejudices and biases. During the sixties, black people were forced to ride in the back of busses, black people were forced to stay apart from white people, black people were forced to step out of the way of white people, and black people were commonly disrespected and thought of as inferior. Because of segregation, there were different schools, different water fountains, different restaurants, and different housing areas. A black man was not encouraged to elevate in society but instead had the words "you are inferior" constantly beaten into him by the white man. Because of these practices, Civil Rights movements began to take place and people like Martin Luther King, Jr. began speaking out against the injustices toward black people. The Civil Rights movement accomplished several things: in today's society segregation is no longer in American law books, blacks are promised as much opportunity as a white man is given, and black men are not told by law specific things than can't do and places they can't live. Black people can vote, run for political office, have a job other than being a servant or maid, and are looked upon as citizens of the United States. Black people have achieved freedom from government regulation.

However, even with this freedom, black men and women are still oppressed by white people, which holds America back from realizing King's "dream." Law no longer segregates schools, but there are still separate schools. In Chattanooga, there are several schools that are primarily black, Howard High School and Eastside Elementary, while at other schools, such as McCallie one sees only a few black faces in a sea of white. Churches are the same way: Brainerd Presbyterian Church moved from Brainerd Road because they were not able to reach the black community, and so they gave their church building to Friendship Baptist, a predominantly black church. Housing areas are separated, not by law, but by practice: Martin Luther King Boulevard, Alton Park, 4th Street Courts, and the Harriet Tub's Housing Project are all...

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