Sunday, December 31, 2017

Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year!


Kwanzaa comes at that time of year when we assess where we are going in the new year as a family and community. Kwanzaa gives us seven principles to ponder and guide our moral compass for a another year.  At a time when our values and truths are being challenged, we need to share our stories, our strengths and our history with our children. So let us celebrate our story, our song, our culture.  Habari Gani?

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Newsone IS Mapping Black Santa Claus: How And Where To Find St. Nicks Of Color

Black Santa 2016

Looking for a Black Santa just became easier with Newsone's Santa Finder.  Now families can track down a St. Nick of color across the country. From the Pacific northwest to rural Georgia, and a handful of spots in between, the U.S. has more Black Santas on deck than ever before. Visit Newsone to find a Black Santa in your area.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Step Afrika! Performs The Migration Dance at New Victory Theater

This weekend catch Step Afrika in New York at the New Victory Theater - 209 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036,  for a breathtaking performance:

"A beat for every brushstroke, Step Afrika! brings to life Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series, the landmark collection of paintings about the largest demographic transformation in U.S. history. Fusing body percussion, tap and contemporary dance with live gospel, jazz and blues, the world's first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping uses uniquely American art forms to tell this uniquely American story. Experience the journey of the millions of African Americans who moved from the rural South to the urban North to rebuild their lives in this powerful, polyrhythmic performance of THE MIGRATION."

For a complete listing of Step Afrika! tour calendar visit

Friday, April 14, 2017

2017 Summer Internship Programs for African-American Students

Summer internships for college students has opened the door for many young people helping them find their calling while gaining professional experience in a field that interest them. Black News.Com has listed the following Top 2017 African-American, Minority and Diversity Summer Internship Programs. For more information visit

1 – The NBA Internship Program offers college students an exciting opportunity  use their skills and classroom learning within a national sports environment. Learn more at

#2 – The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program is a 10-week, full-time, paid summer work opportunity for deserving students with an interest in the NASCAR industry. Learn more at
 #3 – Black Enterprise Internships are designed to provide real-life work experiences for college students interested in a career in the media industry. Learn more at
 #4 – The NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Internship offers an opportunity for a minority, female college student to be chosen for a unique two-year internship program. Learn more at
 #5 – The Minority Access Internship Program offers spring, summer and fall internships for college sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduates and professionals. Learn more at
 #6 – Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Internships are available for college students pursuing undergraduate associates or bachelors degrees. Learn more at
 #7 – Explore Microsoft Internship Program is for current college undergraduate minority students pursuing a degree in computer science or software engineering. Learn more at
 #8 – BET Networks Internships provides paid internships for both undergraduate and graduate college students at five different locations.  Learn more at
#9 – The UNCF/NAACP Gateway to Leadership Internship Program is a 10-week paid summer internship for undergraduate students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Learn more at
#10 – Google Internships is rated No. 1 by Forbes as the best internship opportunity for college students interested in a career in software engineering. Google offers an open culture and rich learning experience as well as good pay. Learn more at
#11 – The TV One Internship Program is open to full-time or part-time students attending an accredited college or university with an interest in a career in the media industry. TV One, one of the largest African American cable networks. Internships are offered to undergraduate college students in the Fall, Spring and Summer. Learn more at
#12 – Oracle offers a 8-week, paid internship for students who attend one of the 39-member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The internships help students to gain knowledge and experience in the field of technology. Learn more at
#13 – The National Urban League Summer Internship Program offers internships to students who are interested in a career in the non-profit industry. The program provides an 8-week paid internship for college students in either New York City or Washington, D.C. Learn more at
#14 – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) offers internships to minority students interested in pursuing a future career in journalism. Applicants selected for a 10-week internship will be offered positions in print, broadcast or online disciplines at selected news organizations across the country. Learn more at
#15 – The Essence Communications Internship is a 9-week, paid internship is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in a career in the media industry. Candidates must have a strong interest in issues among African American women. Learn more at
#16 – The Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) offers a full-time summer work experience for college students pursuing a career in advertising. Eligible students must be Asian/Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Multiracial or Multi-ethnic. Learn more at
#17 – Merck offers 9-11 week internships are available to college students in the areas of research & development, sales & marketing, information technology, human resources, communications, finance and legal, as well as internships in biology and chemistry. Learn more at

#18 – General Motors offers internships in the areas of communications, finance, information technology, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, health and safety. The internships offer a paid opportunity for students to receive a challenging work experience in the automotive industry. Learn more at
#19 – DELL Computers offers 10-12 week internships during the summer for undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of marketing and sales, finance and accounting, IT and more. Internships provide real-world experience for college students while they are still in school. Learn more at
#20 – PricewaterhouseCoopers offers more than 700 internships each year across 29 countries for college students majoring in accounting and finance. Students will work with highly skilled professionals and receive a realistic insight into the accounting and finance profession. Learn more at

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Black Girls Code

Celebrating Women's History Month

According to Nielsen's Report, "African American Millennials are driving social change and leading digital advancement. They are more likely than all Millennials to say they are among the first of their friends/colleagues to try new technology products."  They are also the main consumers of smart- phones and users of the internet.  Unfortunately when it comes to finding employment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related careers, African Americans especially women lag behind other groups. Black Girls Code was created to address this discrepancy. Anyone who has seen the movie, Hidden Figures knows that African American women have played an important role in the development of NASA and other science projects. Now Black Girls Code wants to inspire a new generation to make their mark.  

Their vision is to provide "African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. by 2020, and to train 1 million girls by 2040." Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code believes that their first aim is "to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology." 

They provide workshops and hackathons across the country where young girls can learn coding, create digital programs and find a supportive community. This weekend their chapters in Dallas and New York will have special events for young girls followed later by events in Atlanta, Boston, Miami and the Bay area. To get more information and register for programs visit their site. 

Good news, young Black men will not be left out, there are plans for a Black Boys Code in the future.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Dance Theatre of Harlem's New Season Starts with an Inspiring Film

Dance Theatre of Harlem 2017 started their new season with a short film, High Above that will inspire little Black girls who dream of being a ballet dancer. Yes, Black art can include ballet. Every season DTH showcases the talent of African American ballet dancers. Art is important in young people's lives, and in this story, dance is part of a healing process.

Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) is an American professional ballet company and school based in Harlem, New York City. It was the brainchild of Arthur Mitchell, the first African-American male dancer in a major ballet company (New York City Ballet.) In the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Mr. Mitchell saw the need to give back to his community. In 1969, he along with his teacher Karel Shook started a school for young children in the basement of a church in Harlem. Starting with only 30 students, the school quickly grew to 400. Today the DTH is renowned for being both "the first black classical ballet company", and "the first major ballet company to prioritize black dancers". The Dance Theatre of Harlem School offers training to more than 1,000 young people annually with its community program called Dancing Through Barriers, open to any child who wants to study dance. The company's Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble does outreach throughout the US. It accepts pre-school children up to senior citizens. The school offers specializations in children's movement, European ballet, choreography, and musicology. For families there is a Sunday Matinee performance monthly where they can explore the art of dance.

High Above is a promotion film for their annual spring engagement at New York City Center from April 19-22.  The film's title track is a collaboration with India Arie from her new single. Share the joy of dance with young people at their matinee performance on April 22. Performance includes “Meet the Ballerina” event immediately following the performance.  For their complete nationwide schedule for 2017 check their calendar.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Books N' Bros: Sidney Keys lll Creates Reading Club For Young Boys To Encourage Literacy

After a visit to Eye See Me Bookstore in St. Louis, MO, 11 year old Sidney Keys III  was inspired to start his own reading club for boys called Books N Bros.  Eye See Me Bookstore focuses on African-American children’s literature. His mother shot a video of him reading in the store, and expressing the joy he found in discovering books that reflected him. As she explained "Her son had never been to a store that housed so many books that reflected his culture."  The video garnered a lot of attention and over 63,000 views. This made him realize that there were others out there who had the same interest. “ I already love to read but it would be awesome, even better, to read with other people,” he told Huffington Post.  

Since September, the club has met monthly to discuss one book with a black protagonist, which they vote on. So far, the club has read Hidden Figures, The Supadupa Kid and A Song for Harlem: Scraps of Time, which they read during Black History Month. The group also invites Black male mentors to attend each meeting and share their experiences. With a simple $20 membership fee, the boys ages 8 through 12 get a book, a worksheet that ask questions about the work they're reading, and refreshments. Club members get to take home books for their personal collection, thanks to a donation of more than 250 books from community group, Serving with the Badge. Most important the group gets to read books, make friends and have fun.  For Sidney this has given him an opportunity to develop his skills in leadership, public speaking and entrepreneurship. Hopefully, this will inspire more great ideas. In the future he hopes to expand online so that young men who do not live in St. Louis can join Books N Bros.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Teacher Empowers Her Class To"Push Through"

"Teaching my 3rd grade black and brown babies to #PushThrough today. Due to unwelcoming, unsettling, and uncomfortable election results, this was our lesson for the day."

"In Sub-Saharan African cultures, call and response is a pervasive pattern of democratic participation—in public gatherings in the discussion of civic affairs, in religious rituals, as well as in vocal and instrumental musical expression. It is this tradition that African bondsmen and women brought with them to the New World and which has been transmitted over the centuries in various forms of cultural expression—in religious observance; public gatherings; sporting events; even in children's rhymes; and, most notably, in African-American music in its myriad forms and descendants including: soul, gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk and hip hop."   Wikipedia

In good times and stressful times our culture has used call and response as a way to communicate and teach.   Jasmyn Wright, a third-grade reading teacher in Philadelphia, is using this African American tradition to bring a message of hope, and empowerment to her third grade class.  Ms. Wright, a poet and spoken-word artist encourages her students to "push through" in the face of adversity.  

She uses both personal affirmations and the power of the spoken word to motivate the young people in her class. She sees her role as a catalyst to encourage her students talents and ambitions. "My students know who they are. I teach all of them every day that they are born with a gift"

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

"Fearless Girl" The Wall Street Bull Meets His Match

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action, and the theme for 2017 is "Be Bold For Change."

This holiday has been observed for over a century. In 1975, International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations. Then in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.  The issues that women faced a hundred years ago are not that much different than the ones we face today, and the problems we face in our community are not that different across the globe. Everyone is encouraged to commemorate the day in her own unique way and work with other women to bring change. This is a year of activism, and International Women's Day is a catalyst.

"So make a difference, think globally and act locally!
Make everyday International Women's Day.
Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding."

Breastfeeding Hits Fashion Week

“Birth is the epicenter of a woman’s power. And we are so powerful! Happy Women’s History Month.”

Black Breastfeeding Week was celebrated in August but for Diandra Forrest getting the message out is important every day of the year.  We all want to give our children the best start in life but for many reasons the benefits of breastfeeding have not reached the African American community. Statistics show that less than 55% of Black mothers are actively involved in breastfeeding.  Compared to other groups the numbers are very low for breastfeeding while the black infant mortality rate is high. Black babies are dying at twice the rate (in some place, nearly triple) the rate of white babies. According to the CDC, increased breastfeeding among black women could decrease infant mortality rates.  The CDC states that, "This persistent gap in breastfeeding rates between black women and women of other races and ethnicities might indicate that black women are more likely to encounter unsupportive cultural norms, perceptions that breastfeeding is inferior to formula feeding, lack of partner support, and an unsupportive work environment." Reasons for this might be the lack of support and the lack of spreading the word on the benefits of nursing in Black communities.

Fortunately, we have mothers like model Diandra Forrest who are advocating to change the image of birth and breastfeeding. Diandra who struts the runways of New York Fashion Week posted pictures on Instagram while nursing her baby daughter, Rain. The pictures were from a shoot called   “The Rebirth of Love,” by photographer, Joey Rosado of Island Boi Photography, and was the brainchild of makeup artist and creative director Moshoodat Sanni. Of course, there was some backlash but  Diandra who is accustom to being scrutinized as one of the few albino models in the fashion industry was up to the challenge. As she explains in a Yahoo Style interview, “I think, too often, women’s bodies are looked at in a sexual manner. So when there is a woman breastfeeding her child, which is nurturing and natural, it may seem wrong if your mind isn’t in the right place.”

The benefits of nursing, definitely, out weight the negativity.  Nursing ignites the hormones that increase the bonding between mother and child,  allows the mother's body to heal quicker, provides the right nutrition for the baby and is cheaper than formula. Also mothers who nurse are more inclined to eat healthy. However, for new mothers having a support system is most important. As Diandra explains, “I love the connection that it’s allowed me to have with my daughter and knowing that she is getting all of the nutrients that she needs. It’s important to speak about it because breastfeeding is actually very hard to do. Between the bleeding nipples, feeding every hour, and sleep deprivation, I wouldn’t have made it a week without lots of support.”

"All breastfeeding women need support, but specific interventions might be needed among populations with lower breastfeeding prevalence," suggest the CDC. To get more information and assistance visit Black Breastfeeding Week and La Leche.  Black Breastfeeding Week is all about encouraging black women to keep breastfeeding, connect with other breastfeeding moms, post breastfeeding selfies and more. La Leche has encouraged mothers to nurse for 60 years. Their mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother. Their helpline number is 877-4 LA LECHE (452-5324). As women move through their journey of motherhood there is no need to be alone and isolated. Finding and building community is an important part of the job. Women's empowerment is very important in the community. As Diandra signs off on her Instagram picture, “Birth is the epicenter of a woman’s power. And we are so powerful! Happy Women’s History Month.”

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Africa's Great Civilizations

This week check out Professor Henry Louis Gate's new six-hour series, Africa’s Great Civilizations on PBS.  Gates takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century.  Young adults need to hear these stories even though the story of colonialism can be very disturbing. The challenge is how to empower young people to embrace their history without the anger that can be crippling. Watch it together but beprepared to discuss their questions.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Celebrating African American History Month and Beyond

Pinkster Reenactment
As a child, I always wondered why we didn't have African American holidays. Since then I have learned that our ancestor in slavery observed the holidays of their masters but in their own way. This became a time to unite with family and communicate with each other. They also used this as a time to sell and exchange goods in order to better their circumstances. In spite of oppressive conditions, holidays became an incubator for the creation of African American culture in music, song, dance and storytelling. Their spirit of resistance and resilience allowed them to survive in spite of slavery.

Today we recognize and celebrate many special days that have been part of African American History, and the number keeps growing.  Here is a calendar of Holidays and Days of Remembrance that we can share with family and children this year. Please share with us how you celebrate African American culture and any holidays you think should be added to the list.

January 1         Watch Night!  The Watch Night Services in African American communities can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862. On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God. Today many Black churches still commemorate that day as a day of prayer, thanksgiving and spiritual liberation.

January 1     Signing of the  Emancipation Proclamation commemorates January 1, 1863 when Abraham Lincoln signed the document that freed slaves in confederate states.

January 15        Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday - MLK was born January 15, 1929. His birthday is celebrated as a national holiday the third Monday of January. Now it has become a special day of service where everyone is encouraged to volunteer in their community.

February 1-28   African American History Month - was started by Carter Woodson in 1926 as Negro History Month, and then expanded to the whole month.

February 4        Rosa Parks Birthday

February 28     Mardi Gras - "Fat Tuesday," is the last day of the Carnival season and always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Celebrated with parties, concerts and parades.

May 19             Malcolm X Birthday

May 29            Memorial Day celebrated the last Monday of May has its origins in 1865 when former slaves in South Carolina wanted to honor Union  Soldiers

June 19          Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.

June 4              Pinkster  celebrated the seventh Sunday after Easter refers to the Dutch festivals held by African Americans (both free and slave) in the Northeastern United States, particularly in the early 19th century. For the African slaves, Pinkster was a time free from work and a chance to gather and catch up with family and friends. Today this holiday is celebrated at Philipsburg Manor
381 N. Broadway,  Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591. Festivities include lively presentations of drumming and traditional dance, African folktales, and demonstrations of traditional African instruments and utilitarian wares.

August 28        March on Washington was held on August 28, 1963 where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, a landmark of the Civil Rights Movement.

December 26- January 1   Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the Western African diaspora in the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage and African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Beyonce Reawakens the Fertility Goddess in Her Grammy Appearance

"My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history. To confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror — first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys — and see themselves. And have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable. This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel it's vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes."

This past Sunday very pregnant Beyonce ignited a fire of goddess power in her visually appealing and very poignant Grammy performance. Using the archetypal image of the Madonna and Oshun (goddess of love, beauty and fertility), she celebrated motherhood, family and the strength of the female spirit. Motherhood for African American women has always been complicated filled with joy and fear, and rarely celebrated.

From the time we arrived on the shores of America being a Black mother has never been easy but Beyonce reminds us it can be a powerful experience. She is an artist who has displayed courage, taken risk and used her platform to explore issues close to the African American community. Her message was clear. Female relationships especially between mothers and daughters are important.  These relationships just like birth and motherhood are sacred. Against a backdrop of stereotypes, we can choose to define ourselves, find our voice and speak our truth. We can embrace the ancient wisdom that teaches us to be strong and love ourselves.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Black History Month

Welcome! Maple Sugar Child has been on hiatus for awhile, taking care of children became a priority last year. Of course, children always have to come first but now I am back with lots to share as we celebrate Black History Month and the African American Child. Returning in time for Black History Month is significant.  We celebrate African American achievement all year long but February gives us an opportunity to access how far we have come and what direction we need to go.  Sometimes African American children are not aware of the important role young people have played in our history. February is the best time to remind them.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Celebrate Martin Luther King's Day as a day of service year round by transforming his  dream and teachings into building and empowering your community. Visit this website for more information /

                                                          I Have A Dream

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”