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I Have A Dream

By Doris Nelson,2014-05-27 23:31
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I Have A Dream

     I Have A Dream

     by Martin Luther King, Jr,

     Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28,

    1963. Source: Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior(战士), Pocket Books, NY 1968

     Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed

    the Emancipation Proclamation(奴隶解放宣言). This momentous(意义重大的) decree() came as a great beacon(指引) light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had

    been seared(烤焦) in the flames of withering(使干枯的) injustice. It came as a joyous

    daybreak to end the long night of captivity(囚禁). But one hundred years later, we

    must face the tragic(悲惨的) fact that the Negro is still not free.

     One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled(削弱) by the manacles(手铐,脚链,束缚) of segregation(种族隔离) and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty

    in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the

    Negro is still languishing(苦思,渴望) in the corners of American society and finds

    himself an exile(被放逐者) in his own land.

     So we have come here today to dramatize(戏剧地表现) an appalling(惊骇的) condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the

    architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the

    Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory(有约束力的) note to which every American was to fall heir(继承人,后嗣).

     This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable(不可剥夺的) rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today

    that America has defaulted(不履行) on this promissory note insofar(..范围内) as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred(神圣的) obligation(义务), America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back

    marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is

    bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults

    of opportunity of this nation.

     So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the

    riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed(圣的) spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage

    in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing(使平静的) drug of gradualism(按步就班,渐进). Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate(凉的) valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time

    to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift

    our nation from the quicksands(流沙,危险的事物) of racial injustice to the solid

    rock of brotherhood.

     It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to

    underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering(闷热的) summer of the Negro's legitimate(合法的) discontent(不满) will not pass until there is an

    invigorating(鼓舞的) autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an

    end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will

now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

    There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his

    citizenship rights.

     The whirlwinds(旋风) of revolt(反抗) will continue to shake the foundations of

    our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I

    must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold(开始) which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of

    wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy ourthirst for freedom by drinking from

    the cup of bitterness and hatred(憎恨).

     We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

    we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again

    and again we must rise to the majestic(宏伟庄严的) heights of meeting physical force

    with soul force.

     The marvelous(非凡的) new militancy(交战) which has engulfed(卷入) the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white

    brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their

    destiny(命运) is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably(不可避免的) bound to our freedom.

     We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge(发誓) that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees(身者) of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as

    long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue(疲惫) of travel, cannot gain lodging() in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied

    as long as the Negro's basic mobility(迁移) is from a smaller ghetto(犹太人区) to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote

    and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are

    not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and

    righteousness(正义) like a mighty(强大的) stream.

     I am not unmindful(不留意) that some of you have come here out of great trials

    and tribulations(磨难). Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you

    have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered(打碎) by the storms of persecution(迫害) and staggered by the winds of police brutality(野蛮,残忍). You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that

    unearned(不该得到的) suffering is redemptive(挽回).

     Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to

    Louisiana, go back to the slums(平民窟) and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing

    that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley

    of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and

    frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the

    American dream.

     I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning

    of its creed信条): "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created

    equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former

    slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table

of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert

    state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression(压迫), will be

    transformed into an oasis(绿洲) of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four

    children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color

    of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

     I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are

    presently dripping with the words of interpositi and nullification(无用), will be

    transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able

    to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters

    and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall

    be exalted(升起), every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will

    be made plain, and the crooked(弯曲) places will be made straight, and the glory of

    the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope.

    This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able

    to hew() out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will

    be able to transform the jangling(嘈嚷的) discords(不一致) of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together,

    to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom

    together, knowing that we will be free one day.

     This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new

    meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where

    my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's(朝圣者) pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let

    freedom ring from the prodigious(巨大的) hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring

    from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening

    Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

    Let freedom ring from the curvaceous(曲线优美的) peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout

    Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill(鼹鼠打

    洞扒出泥土堆成的土堆) of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

     When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every

    hamlet(小村落), from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that

    day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles(非犹太

    ), Protestants(新教徒) and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the

    words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty(

    ), we are free at last!"

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