Tell Them About the Dream, Martin
We make no apologies for posting Martin Luther King’s speech from August 28 1963 again. After all, even on that day in Washington, it wasn’t the first time he’d given the now famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
The part of the speech you probably remember wasn’t the speech he’d written for that day. You have to skip ahead 12 minutes to get there. MLK was giving his prepared speech when Gospel great Mahalia Jackson called out to him “Tell them about the dream, Martin”. He ditched his planned speech and improvised, using the core of a speech he’d given two months earlier at Detroit’s Cobo Hall at the end of Detroit’s Walk To Freedom.
With ten times as many people there to listen at the Lincoln Memorial, and plenty of TV cameras, Mahalia Jackson recognised an opportunity to put a powerful speech in front of a worldwide audience. Let’s not forget her role.