While the nation may not agree on whether his dream has been realized, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King lives on and is now forever immortalized with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, the first African-American memorial on or near the National Mall, which opened to the public last Monday and was to be dedicated with a weekend of ceremonial events, culminating on Sunday, which marked the 48th anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech, but was postponed indefinitely due to Hurricane Irene.
As we celebrate his life and legacy, take a look at Dr. King as he describes “the new Negro” opening with:
I think I could best answer that question by saying first that the New Negro is a person with a new sense of dignity and destiny. With a new self-respect. Along with that is lack of fear, which once characterized the Negro. This willingness to stand up courageously for what he feels is just and what he feels he deserves on the basis of the laws of the land. I think also I would like to mention this growing honesty which characterizes the Negro today. There was a time that the Negro used duplicity, deception too, rather as a survival technique; although he didn’t particularly like conditions — he said he liked them because he felt that the boss wanted to hear that. But now from the housetops, from the kitchens, from the classrooms and from the pulpit, the Negro says in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t like the way he’s being treated. So at long last the Negro is telling the truth. And I think this is also one of the basic characteristics of the new Negro.