Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I’m free at last. These words are lifted from a Negro spiritual, and also have a place in the greatest Civil Rights message ever delivered. Doctor Martin Luther King delivered his dream speech over 50 years ago and it is still relevant today.
Thousands gathered as King’s speech began its journey into the future. Those who were gathered together that day, represent the first wave in a war against racism that still rages on today. The 16th century movement of over 15 million humans from Africa to lay down the foundations of what would become a superpower United States, was never it seems going to end with their descendants embracing equality and justice a few years later.
So far, the timeline shows presidential emancipation by Abraham Lincoln, lynchings, civil rights movements, prison incarceration of disproportionate numbers of black males and the death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer in May 2020.
Perhaps today’s generation are growing a little tired of the dream speech. In fact, it was described as nonsense by legendary rap group Public Enemy in their video “Fight the Power”.
Today’s generation want, no, demand change that is long overdue. In my opinion, Kings speech is not irrelevant, but has evolved. Who said it would come to pass immediately?
Today’s protesters are the second wave troops. The first, the harbingers, arrived in the 1960’s. The death of George Floyd merely reignited the words of a dormant but active volcano of human anger. Black and whites, the future children he described are walking together.
Perhaps when change finally comes, Gospel artists of today can put a modern slant on the old Negro spiritual, Free at Last, Free at Last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.