I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
Thomas Jefferson’s famous phrase, located in the Declaration of Independence, had never truly been fulfilled in America due to the country’s historical legacy of slavery, racism, and legal discrimination. King wants to see this phrase finally justified, and urges lawmakers and private citizens alike to recognize that all men are created equal.
King knows that many of the people listening have been through many trials due to racism, and urges them not to wallow in this sorrow. He recognizes the difficulties blacks have been through, and wants his listeners to recognize it too, but he wants them to use the knowledge of this injustice as motivation to make a positive change, not an excuse for inaction.
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