The Who2 Blog

Dr. King Speaks to Detroit

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on this day in 1929. The birthday is celebrated publicly with a holiday next Monday.

(As an aside: April 4th will be the 40th anniversary of his death. Had MLK lived, he’d be 79 years old today.)

This year, skip the “I Have a Dream” speech (great as it is) and look over his speech from the march on Detroit in 1963. You can see him developing the themes he used with such effect at the Lincoln Memorial two months later.

I know we have heard a lot of cries saying, “Slow up and cool off.” [Laughter]… They are telling us over and over again that you’re pushing things too fast, and so they’re saying, “Cool off.” Well, the only answer that we can give to that is that we’ve cooled off all too long, and that is the danger. [Applause] There’s always the danger if you cool off too much that you will end up in a deep freeze. [Applause] “Well,” they’re saying, “you need to put on brakes.” The only answer that we can give to that is that the motor’s now cranked up and we’re moving up the highway of freedom toward the city of equality, [Applause] and we can’t afford to stop now because our nation has a date with destiny. We must keep moving.

Related Biography

Share this: