Social Justice

Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks – Part One

1964 speech on “The American Dream” at Drew University, Madison NJ

Download Resource File

TITLE: Martin Luther King, Jr., “The American Dream” (February 5, 1964)

CREATORS: Martin Luther King, Jr., Drew University Archives

SOURCE: Internet Archives upload from Drew University Archives

LICENSE: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (Creative Commons By Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike)


On February 5, 1964, Drew University proudly hosted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a convocation speaker. Dr. King's connection with Drew University was through Dr.George D. Kelsey, Professor of Christian Ethics. Prior to teaching at Drew, Kelsey taught at Morehouse College where he became a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr., then a student, and who has credited Kelsey for his motivation to become a preacher. At the time of the event, Dr. King had been recently selected as Time magazine's "Man of the Year" and shared his "American Dream" speech to over 5,000 attendees. A student reporter for the Drew Acorn noted, "He is unimposing, seems quite ordinary, but, when he speaks, people listen. They tend to forget all else."

Click on the arrow below to access Part One of the speech.

To go to a particular timestamp, click to the right or left on the bars.
Important timestamps are as follows:

1:50 – “America is essentially a dream – a dream yet unfulfilled.”
2:07 – “The substance of the dream…”
4:36 – But “America has been something of a schizophrenic personality…”
6:42 – Segregation “is a new form of slavery covered up with certain niceties of complexity.”
7:49 – “...we must develop a world perspective.”
13:40 – “We must get rid of the notion, once and for all, that there are superior and inferior races.”
17:30 – “And it is a tortuous argument for you to use the tragic results of segregation as an argument for the continuation of it.”

Environmental Justice Intake Form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.