2013 is the year that Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech turns 50.
A half-century ago, it was a radical notion that a black man in America could have any kind of big dream at all, outside the realms of sports, music and entertainment.
Yet on Monday, January 21, 2013, which is Martin Luther King Day, we will see the second term inauguration of America’s first-ever black president. Talk about historical synergy.
Toward the end of this speech, Dr. King envisioned an improbable goal, “to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”
Now, that’s what I call a New Year’s resolution.
2013: A Year of Landmark Civil Rights Anniversaries
In fact, this year there are several important civil rights anniversaries. 2013 marks, among others:
- the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863).
- 150th anniversary of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Dome (1863).
- 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech (1963).
- 50th anniversary of the murder of NAACP leader Medgar Evers and riots in Birmingham after the murder of four girls at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (1963).
- the inauguration of the first black American president to his second term (2013).
And, as a reminder of the sometimes-terrible costs of change, 2013 is also the 50th anniversary of the assassination of another young president, JFK.