HPPUB MOVIE (Video) REVIEW of I Have a Dream


Title:  I Have a Dream

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Nationality and Language: USA, English

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Video Review: I Have a Dream; 40 minutes; (G)

            This video has been seen at companies, libraries, churches, and other institutions with diversity programs. The video shows much of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech ("Free at last!") at the March on Washington in August, 1963. Later there is commentary about his assassination in 1968 and there are also comments by his brother, Robert Kennedy, who was Attorney General in the 1960's and would be gunned down himself in 1968.

            I was struck by the mass scenes from the March, all shot in black-and-white. Later, there would be the big Marches on Washington in 1987 and then 1993 to rally for equal rights for gays. So in a way, this video is good pre-history for my own DADT book. But I was struck by one difference. The Civil Rights movement and laws in the 1960's, to be followed by affirmative action, were in large part a (necessary) collective remedy to help undo grevious past injustices to African-Americans, going back to slavery, Reconstruction, and segregation. We would not become uncomfortable about slavery until the 1830's (the time that, in a psychological sense, the Bill of Rights began to sink in even if it had become law in 1791!) I have experienced equal rights for myself as a gay person very much as an individual matter, not as a mandate to correct past wrongs but just to do it right in the future.


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