| I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history |
as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow
we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. ...
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred
years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles
of segregation 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. [......]
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge
that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back. [......]
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when
we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, 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,
Protestants 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!