I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr.

New Crown English Series 3 (Heisei 28) pg. 74-76

In 1955, there were many things black people in the United States could not do under the law. There were restrooms they could not use. There were drinking fountains they could not use. There were bus seats they could not use.
These unfair laws upset many people. One of them was Martin Luther King, Jr. He heard about the arrest of Mrs Parks in Montgomery, Alabama. He said, "We cannot stand it any more. Let's make a movement. Let's fight for anyone's right to take any seat on any bus. We shall never give up."

He led the people of the city fighting for justice. They fought in a peaceful way. They stopped riding city buses. Some walked to work and school. Others shared cars. Many people joined the movement, even some white people. Their fight lasted for more than a year. Finally they changed the law. Black people were free to sit anywhere. For many years, they worked hard to change other laws too.

In 1963, over 200,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. to support justice for all. Dr King made a great speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Here are some of the words spoken by him.

I have a dream that my four little 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 ... our little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

In 1964, Dr King won the Nobel Peace Prize. Four years later, he was shot and killed. He died, but the fight for justice continues. His dream lives on.

New Crown English Series 3 (Heisei 17) pg. 52-55

"I have a dream. One day my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin..."

Martin Luther King, Jr. said this in a speech in 1963. He had a dream that is important to all of us. His dream was equality for all Americans, black and white. He was a person that lived for this dream. He fought for it. And he died for it.

In those days, there were many things that African-Americans could not do. There were toilets that they could not use. There were seats on buses that they could not use. There were even drinking fountains that they could not use. African-Americans' lives were separate and unequal.
But people were fighting against this. Mrs Rosa Parks was one of them. She had great courage.

Mrs Parks was a black woman who always took the bus home from work. One day she took a seat near the white section. Soon that section filled up. The driver shouted, "Give up your seat, or I'll call the police." She did not move. The police came and arrested her.
Martin Luther King heard this news. He said, "Let's support her. Let's stop using the buses." They started a boycott which lasted for 381 days. Finally, they won the right to take any seat on buses.

After this, more and more people joined the civil rights movement led by King. In 1964 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Four years later, he was shot and killed.
He died, but he left words which we will always remember.

"I have a dream. One day the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

His dream lives on.

New Crown English Series 3 (Heisei 15) pg. 46-49

"I have a dream. One day my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin..."

Martin Luther King, Jr. said these words in a speech in 1963. He was a great leader who worked for the rights of African-Americans. He had a dream which is still important to all of us.

In those days, there were many things which black people could not do. There were toilets which black people could not use. There were restaurants black people could not enter. There were bus seats black people could not take. 'White only' was the law.
This did not change until Mrs Rosa Parks, a black woman, challenged it.

Mrs Parks was sitting in a bus near the white section. Soon that section filled up. The driver shouted, "Give up your seat." She did not move. "Give up your seat or I'll call the police." The police came and arrested her.
When Martin Luther King heard this news, he said, "Let's fight against this injustice." King and people following him stopped using the buses. The boycott lasted for 381 days. They finally won the right to take any seat in a bus.

After this, the number of people led by King increased. In 1964 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Four years later he was shot and killed.
He died, but we remember his words. His dream lives on.

"I have a dream. One day the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

See also