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Watch the "I Have A Dream" speech with your children

Posted by Dr. Claire McCarthy  August 28, 2013 11:52 AM

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In honor of its 50th anniversary, I watched Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. It gave me goosebumps. It also made me sad--and made me want to show it to my children.

I was born in 1963, a couple of months after that march on Washington and that speech (yes, I'm turning 50 this fall). As I think about how things have changed in my lifetime, I can't help thinking that they haven't changed nearly as much as Dr. King and all those who stood listening might have hoped. 

He had a dream, he said, that "sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood." He had a dream, he said, that his "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."

If only that dream could truly come true. 

Things are better, absolutely. But we are pretty far from turning "the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

That's why I think our children need to watch this speech. They need to hear him say these words. They need to understand where we have been--and where we need to go. His dream might not come true in our lifetime, but if we teach and encourage our children, maybe it will come true in theirs.




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About MD Mama

Claire McCarthy, M.D., is a pediatrician and Medical Communications Editor at Boston Children's Hospital . An assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a senior editor for Harvard More »

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