The Reality of King's Dream
The Reality of King's Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Dream" has not yet become a total reality. African Americans have gained some social equality, however; blacks have not been fully recognized as an accepted group of people in the American society. Also, African Americans continue to struggle against stereotypes placed upon them due to poverty in the inner cities.

Since the 1950's and the 1960's, there have been many changes in how African Americans have been accepted by the white majority. In the 1960's, blacks had to fight for many freedoms as citizens. Blacks were considered by whites to be less of a person than a white was. The black race was fighting for their equality. African Americans were fighting to stop segregation in schools, and they were trying to gain voting rights. During the non-violent movement, blacks were forced to suffer police brutality and the violation of other constitutional rights. In the 1990's, the standard of living has been greatly improved. Although we as a society have a long way to go and still face many problems dealing with economic standards, political power and some discrimination, much of King's dream has started to become a reality.

African Americans are still mistreated in some aspects of our American society. In Jet Magazine, Xernona Clayton an assistant corporate vice-president for Urban Affairs for Turner Broadcasting System Inc. She stated," Here we are 30 years (after the dream of King) and we have had to deal with progress at a slow rate." People are still being judged by their skin color and not by "the content of their character" as said by Martin Luther King, Jr. He had hoped African Americans wouldn't be discriminated in job interviews. Even though it is against the law, employers are still discriminating when it comes to hiring employees.

Since the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans have been labeled with many negative stereotypes. Blacks have been struggling with the stereotype of being poor, crack sellers that live in the ghetto. For example, a white person is walking down the street and spots a group of African Americans in street clothes. The white person may think that they all have guns and are looking to kill or attack him. This stereotype can be blamed on the gangs of the inner city. Another negative stereotype is that African Americans are thought to be not as intelligent as whites. In some cases this may be true, but only on an individual basis, and the statement cannot be applied to the whole race of people. However, this statement proves itself false most of the time. The challenge of King's dream is to close the achievement gap between white and black students in our public schools, a process that is well underway through improvement of education in inner city schools.

As you can see, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Dream" has not yet become a total reality. We are in a continuing struggle for social equality. Martin Luther King, Jr. would definitely want blacks to try to overcome these and many other problems in the future.

Michael W.
Alan L.
Darryl L.
Ryan H.

Sources: Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Peaceful Warrior, Pocket Books, NY 1968, The "I Have a Dream" speech
Unpublished Notes, George Cassutto, 1995
Facing History & Ourselves, 1994
Jet Magazine, Jan. 20, 1992
Oprah Winfrey, "Shades of a Single Protein" - 1992

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