Two Great speeches in History, that I loved hearing again.

American Rhetoric: Martin Luther King, Jr. - I Have a DreamWe donít much of have a culture either at home and at our community to listen to music, so that sort of forces me and Ali to dig deep and keep looking for alternate sources of entertainment or education that we can indulge in when commuting from home to office. We were delighted when there was the explosion of podcasts on the internet. Those who may not be familiar with the term, a podcast is simply the internet but delivered on Audio. And you have podcasts on huge number of topics, be it from religion/spirituality, politics, documentaries, or Classic Story Telling. To hear podcasts all you need is an mp3 player, which may not be an ipod. Infact, a huge number of mobile phones these days have built in mp3 players, so to hear a podcast on the go, all you need to do is download it to your pc and then download that podcast into your phone. Itís really not that difficult, but youíve got to do it once to experience itís simplicity. Sure, but it still doesnít beat having an ipod, as that makes downloading, syncing and listening to podcasts even easier.

However, Iím straying from the topic of my post. A podcasts series that I listen to occasionally is the Great Speeches in History Podcast. In this Podcast they render the original speeches delivered by Great Leaders, movers and shakers of History. Two speeches which I heard was almost as if it grabbed hold of my inner soul and shook me till I rattled. These are the Famous I Have a Dream Speech by Martin Luther King and the Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X.

I Have a Dream
Sure I heard about the speech before. Probably read the text in school as well. But oh, listening to it live from the lips of Dr. Martin Luther King. It made me almost get up from driving seat and applaud like crazy. Pure, Raw unbridled energy. Here are certain excerpts of the speech. But do watch it if you can, itís only 17 odd minutes long.

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 languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

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. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — 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.

The Ballot or the Bullet
I donít know what itís about Black Americans, but man not only are they really powerful speakers, they come up with really wicked speech titles too. You need time out to hear this speech as itís an hour long. Therefore it makes best sense to have the habit of collecting stuff like this, dumping it in your mp3 player and playing it when driving or riding. Anyway, hereís my favourite exerpt from the speech.

The government has failed us; you canít deny that. Anytime you live in the twentieth century, 1964, and you walkin’ around here singing ďWe Shall Overcome,Ē the government has failed us.

This is part of whatís wrong with you — you do too much singing. Today itís time to stop singing and start swinging. You canít sing up on freedom, but you can swing up on some freedom. Cassius Clay can sing, but singing didnít help him to become the heavyweight champion of the world; swinging helped him become the heavyweight champion. This government has failed us; the government itself has failed us, and the white liberals who have been posing as our friends have failed us.

And once we see that all these other sources to which weíve turned have failed, we stop turning to them and turn to ourselves. We need a self help program, a do-it — a-do-it-yourself philosophy, a do-it-right-now philosophy, a itís-already-too-late philosophy. This is what you and I need to get with, and the only time — the only way we’re going to solve our problem is with a self-help program. Before we can get a self-help program started we have to have a self-help philosophy.

Iíve listed my top 5 favourite podcasts here. Other good podcasts that I recommended are The Classic Tales Podcasts and also the Podcast series of Oprah and Eckhart’s discussion of A New Earth, which I blogged about earlier too.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.