"Free at last! Free at Last!..." Fifty one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered an empowering speech that echoed from the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial to around the globe.By Maria Galiano
The dream of which he spoke seemed to be an unattainable reality for society at the time, but was nevertheless an inspiration to the masses. This upcoming Monday, the country will celebrate Dr. King's life as it observes the Martin Luther King Day holiday.
A special piece that can be found in our DC Digital Museum documents the council's 2008 symposium, "Giving Freedom A World Voice", dedicated to the commemoration of the global legacy of Dr. King. Acquaintances and guest speakers delivered speeches on Dr. King's life. It is almost as if Dr. King's intensity had lingered on to the words of these speakers, as one can see and feel the passion that each speaker is filled with. The 2008 presidential election of President Barack Obama was discussed as being a symbol of the inspiration and influence that Dr. King left behind. Performers of various cultures from local choir members to Cambodian Buddhist dancers were invited to attend this event. What better way to represent Dr. King's global legacy than through the unity of different cultures? "Giving Freedom A World Voice" symbolized the idea of feeling a connection not only within our country, but with the rest of the world as well.
"Thank God almighty we are free at last!" August 28th marks the day that Dr. King's words served as drop of caffeine that awoke a divided nation. The council's "Giving Freedom A World Voice" film documentary reminds us that Dr. King's life and accomplishments have remained an inspiration worldwide.