Dreams and Recurring Nightmares – 50 years after Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ Speech

Professor Gus John

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These famous words, the second sentence of the American Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776, were the cornerstone of Dr Martin Luther King’s speech on 28 August 1963. That speech is rarely remembered in its entirety and consequently over time the last part which is most frequently quoted has come to represent a rallying cry for black and white integration rather than a ‘call to arms’ in the struggle for equal rights and justice.

Why is that important and what is its relevance for Britain? Read more of this post

Culture Show Abraham Lincoln Special

LeftCentral Review

© Image US National Archives Photostream

It was Abraham Lincoln`s birthday last week, the Culture Show celebrated with Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day Lewis and assortment of special guests. The Show was not a trailer for the film though the last ten minutes descended into a movie promotion. Spielberg pointing out this is the first film about Lincoln for over seventy-years. Henry Fonda who played Lincoln in the 1930s compared the assassinated President to Jesus Christ and Lincoln`s assassination on Good Friday helped secure political sainthood. However, the broadcast was no hagiography, examining Lincoln from a variety of historical perspectives, encompassing both orthodox and revisionist views. Lincoln was forensically scrutinised and Bonnie Greer one of the guests, outlined that his legacy is a complex nuanced one, while she reasonably affirmed that Lincoln was the greatest President. Greer made a significant contribution, speaking about her own background, pointing out that for people of her generation (and her parents); Lincoln was viewed as the Liberator of the enslaved. This orthodox view has been critiqued by those who consider Lincoln a white supremacist, given that he supported the plan to remove African-Americans through a colonisation programme. Those who share this interpretation of history, according to Bonnie Greer, argue that Lincoln freed the slaves because it was just a deal to get what he wanted.  Read more of this post

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