Yale University

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Were You There for Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech?

Mike Price

August 29, 2013

Category: Society > Rights

I write this on the 50th Anniversary of the "March on Washington" and Martin Luther King's memorable, inspiring "I have A Dream" exhortation. I submit this not as a "rant or rave" but in the hope that it will call forth a dialog. Did any of our class take part in this event, and if so what are their memories? I was to a great extent oblivious to what was going around me in this country's great debate over race/civil rights, caught up in the immediate concerns of youth: school, friends, sex, etc., and was spending the summer traveling in Europe, experiencing a seminal time.

Civil rights was a contentious subject then. I remember that, at our graduation the next year, Yale gave Rev. King an honorary degree and that a good friend from the South, sitting near me, refused to get up when we stood to applaud him and the honor Yale was bestowing upon him in recognition of the pivotal role he was playing in our country's history.