We Have a Dream: African-American Visions of Freedom

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A nation without color bars or racial prejudice, a world regenerate and just, a land truly of the equal and the free: Martin Luther King, Jr, had a dream. He dreamed it for America, and on August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington, he shared it with America. The dream has a history. It was born of oppression; it was nurtured by vision and hope and rhetoric and fire. It was shaped in slave narratives, in letters, diaries, and memoirs, in essays, speeches, and poetry. In this volume it is explored, articulated, ...
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Overview

A nation without color bars or racial prejudice, a world regenerate and just, a land truly of the equal and the free: Martin Luther King, Jr, had a dream. He dreamed it for America, and on August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington, he shared it with America. The dream has a history. It was born of oppression; it was nurtured by vision and hope and rhetoric and fire. It was shaped in slave narratives, in letters, diaries, and memoirs, in essays, speeches, and poetry. In this volume it is explored, articulated, embraced, enlarged, defined, reviewed, and redefined in selections from the works of twenty-eight African-American writers whose lifetimes span two centuries. The dream might offer hope in the face of despair. It might cry for justice or divine an apocalypse. For Maya Angelou when she was twelve or James Baldwin in his boyhood it might fuse a rich private inner life with a larger cultural reality. It might provide anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston or international stage star Paul Robeson with a vision of a world united. Translated into a call for action or a movement toward empowerment, it might prompt Frederick Douglass to redefine Reconstruction, Marcus Garvey to found the United Negro Improvement Association, Malcolm X to advocate black nationalism, W. E. B. Du Bois to espouse Pan Africanism. A dream took Alex Haley on a nine-year quest for his family's roots and in the heart of Africa a griot redeemed his people from historical anonymity. It took a fifteen year old black boy named Richard Wright on a train ride north to a mythic Promised Land otherwise known as Chicago. Among other African Americans included in We Have a Dream are Mary McLeod Bethune, Claude Brown, Shirley Chisholm, James Farmer, bell hooks, Langston Hughes, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Bayard Rustin, Alice Walker, and Booker T. Washington. Because of them, and countless more like them, the African-American dream has a future.

Selections by over 25 African American writers, including Martin Luther King, Jr., who have given public voice to their personal dream of justice. Spanning 150 years and crossing countless miles, Maya Angelou, Bayard Rustin, Alex Haley, Malcolm X, Shirley Chisholm, and others articulate the power of their dreams as they redefine for all Americans Our national dream.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881849417
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1993
  • Pages: 288

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Introduction 9
I Acts of Definition
"Montage of a Dream Deferred" 17
from Up From Slavery: "The Struggle for an Education" 19
from Black Boy 27
from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 37
from Lay Bare the Heart: "I'll Keep My Soul" 51
from Notes of a Native Son: "Autobiographical Notes" 69
from Talking Back 75
II The World Remade
"Question and Answer" 85
from An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World: "Our Wretchedness in Consequence of the Preachers of the Religion of Jesus Christ" 87
"The Rescue of Jane Johnson" 92
"The Day and the War" 95
"Reconstruction" 116
"An Address Delivered at the Opening of the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, September 1895" 122
from The Souls of Black Folk: "Of the Sons of Master and Man" 128
from Crusade for Justice: "Illinois Lynchings" 147
"A College on a Garbage Dump" 158
"I Have a Dream" 167
III A Different Image
"A Different Image" 175
from The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey: "Speech Delivered on Emancipation Day at Liberty Hall, New York City, N.Y. U.S.A." 177
"The Future As I See It" 180
from The Autobiography of Malcolm X: "1965" 186
"The American Dream and the American Negro" 196
from Adam by Adam: "Black Power and the Future of America" 202
"The 51% Minority" 213
from Roots 218
IV The Promised Land
"Runagate Runagate" 239
"On Liberty or Death" 243
from Black Boy 245
from Manchild in the Promised Land 252
V A Vision of the World United
from Dust Tracks on the Road: "Looking Things Over" 267
from Here I Stand: "Love Will Find Out the Way" 273
"A Christmas Sermon on Peace" 288
from Down the Line: "Reflections on the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr." 296
from In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: "Saving the Life That Is Your Own: The Importance of Models in the Artist's Life" 307
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