Full text of Martin Luther King Jr. speech: “The American Dream” delivered on July 4th, 1965.
Listen to the audio version here:
Martin Luther King Jr.
I would like to discuss some of the problems that we confront in the world today, and some of the problems that we confront in our own nation by using as a subject: The American Dream.
I choose this subject because America is essentially a dream. It is a dream of a land where men of all races, of all nationalities, and of all creeds, can live together as brothers.
The substance of the dream is expressed in these sublime words:
“We hold these truths to be self- evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Now, we notice in the very beginning that at the center of this dream is an amazing universalism. It does not say some men, but it says all men. It does not say all white men, but it says all men, which includes black men.
It does not say all Gentiles, but it says all men, which includes Jews. It does not say all Protestants, but it says all men, which includes Catholics.
That is something else that we notice in this American Dream, which is one of the things that distinguishes our form of government with some of the other totalitarian systems.