Has “the dream” been realized?

“The idea that Martin Luther King would come back today, look at the prisons, look at the schools, look at the Zimmerman case, and say, ‘my work here was done’ is kind of, you know, crazy.” — Gary Younge

The first March on Washington saw thousands travel from across the country to demand jobs and freedom from Jim Crow segregation and racism. Fifty years later those demands are again on the table for many African-Americans. In the wake of the Zimmerman acquittal, there is a renewed sense of how pervasive racism is today in the United States.

After marching with tens of thousands in Washington this August 24, join Haymarket Books and Busboys and Poets for a special event and DC book launch for Gary Younge’s “The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream.” (http://bit.ly/14D2Cby)

What has changed since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famed “I have a dream” speech? What remains the same? What are the prospects for rebuilding a fight against racism today?


Dr. Cornel West is one of the most prominent and admired figures on the left today. A philosopher, academic, activist, author, and public intellectual who has appeared in over 25 documentaries, he can be heard weekly with Tavis Smiley on Public Radio’s “Smiley & West.” Dr. West has a passion to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.

Gary Younge has written several books on race and racism, the most recent is “The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream.” Gary is an author, broadcaster, and award-winning columnist for the Guardian, based in Chicago. He also writes a monthly column for The Nation magazine and is the Alfred Knobler Fellow for The Nation Institute.

Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a writer and activist based in Chicago, who recently recieved her PhD in African American Studies. She is the author of “Rats, Riots and Revolution: Black Housing in the 1960s” (forthcoming from Haymarket Books), and is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review.

Brian Jones is an educator and activist in New York. He co-narrated the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman and contributed to the book, Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation. He blogs at “No Struggle, No Progress” (http://brianpjones.tumblr.com/).

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13 Responses to A Dream Deferred? MLK, Trayvon, and the fight against racism today featuring Dr. Cornel West, Gary Younge, and Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, emcee’d by Brian Jones.