Martin Luther King's Dream in a Divided World

Temple University Japan, in cooperation with the Embassy, sponsored a contest in honor of Black History Month. Students were invited to submit essays, visual creations, or short films on the theme of "Martin Luther King's Dream in a Divided World." Below is one of the winning entries.

By Alison Schroeder
Temple University

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's famous speech "I Have a Dream" has been heard by so many people of any age, color, nationality, or gender. His words resound with the ferocity of the battle cries of the past, but with a dynamically different meaning. His words were not meant to incite rivalry between enemies, but to join them together, to present them with equality that had never been seen before. He was aiming for a common, united people who could make decisions without any racial bias. Though his words were meant for African Americans living in the United States, I believe that his words can be applicable to anyone who is discriminated against.

Dr. King led an incredibly distinguished life, a life that was so full of meaning, and so tragically cut short. He received a both a Bachelor's Degree and a Doctorate, he was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine and of course, he was the youngest man to win the Nobel Peace Prize up to that time. His campaigns for the Civil Rights movement caused him to be arrested and assaulted numerous times, and his words and spirit eventually caused his assassination. Even though his life was short, his words have so much power, for both whites and blacks, that it is no surprise that so many strides towards complete equality were made during his lifetime.

For me, his life shows that there is always something that can be done, but there just has to be that one person who is strong enough to call it to attention, to fight for something even though there are so many forces working against them. His followers were dedicated to him, seeing that infinite strength in him as a person, and the infinite power in the words that he spoke. When the American Government was doing all that it could to stop equality among whites and blacks, Dr. King defied it, gained a devoted following, spoke such words of passion and truth, and without any violence. Even though he himself was a target, he did not use force or violence to spread his message.

Dr. King's words have, without any doubt, caused many changes to be made in the justice system. Even though he has done so much, there is still more to do. Parts of the South are still incredibly racist, as can easily be seen with the Jena 6, and all is still not sitting well in other parts of the country. I don't think that things will go back to the way they were before Dr. King's revolutionary ideas, but I still think that there is more work to be done. His dream in the divided world in which he lived was for complete and total equality amongst races. His dream was for people to be able to function in society without any bias based on the color of one's skin. His dream was to see something that he believed in so fervently and without hesitation to be brought out into the light and be eradicated. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is such an inspiration to all people, he was, and still is, globally known and respected, and he was bold enough to challenge a system that had taken root during the formation of the United States of America. His dream has not died, not one bit, even though the world is still divided, and his words are still alive in all of the world's people, a message so strong that it can never be broken.