• MLK Washington Mall Speech

Tomorrow is Today

On August 28,1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and in front of a crowd of nearly 250,000 people spread across the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his most famous speech, “I Have a Dream.”

His words from that day, although some 57 years ago, seem all too relevant today: “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.”

Although the 1960’s Civil Rights movement made real, tangible progress in the area of laws and legislation, today, we continue to bear witness to unthinkable oppression based on race, religion, ability, age, gender, sexual preference, and identity here in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Is it even possible to live in a world where one is “measured by the content of her character and not the color of her skin?” This statement was made some half a century ago – a long time ago – but in the long stretch of history, is it?

The Enlightenment lasted 130 years, the Dark Ages for 324. Maybe it is the awareness, or the clarity, that human equity is possible, yet seems so far away from reality, that leaves us feeling demoralized. I am reminded that Malala Yousafzai is a household name. If we look at human history as a whole, we can see improvements in the human condition and a decrease in violence overall. Is human dignity on a slow trek forward or is it simply circling around the same inability to see beyond these issues?

In a speech on March 25, 1965, titled, “Our God is Marching On,” King explains, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The ‘tide in the affairs of men’ does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ‘Too late.’”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Video

Each year, students from different schools across the Ojai Valley meet each week to organize presentations honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, students met via ZOOM, and produced a video to share on this year’s MLK Day.


Suggestions for Parents & Students