MLK: It’s not the dream or the speech

MLK: It’s not the dream or the speech

Three years ago, Hamden Rice wrote a post at DailyKos that schooled readers on Martin Luther King’s most-basic heroic accomplishment. The post has been shared across the web ever since, mostly on MLK Day, its direct style and the personal notes it hits still acting on readers like a bracing corrective. It isn’t that MLK was a one-of-a-kind inspirational speaker, a committed activist to a noble cause, a man of peace. What is it?

Rice explains that he was a “smart ass home from his first year of college, head full of newly discovered political ideologies and black nationalism” when he got into it with his dad.

“I was kind of sarcastic and asked something like, So what did Martin Luther King accomplish other than giving his ‘I have a dream speech’?”

You wanna know? I’ll tell you, said his dad. And he did. And then Hamden told the internet in a post he titled “Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually accomplished.”

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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