At last week’s Martin Luther King Assembly, organized by Roosevelt’s Black Student Union, Riders had the opportunity to see their peers discuss King’s legacy as well as how the racism he valiantly fought continues to affect modern society. Seniors Mekhi Felder and Abdi Omar presented a piece that weaved King’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech with their own writing to create an original, bold work. King’s writing, presented by Omar, is bolded as opposed to the new content, presented by Felder.

I Have a Dream, 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.

Now over 150 years of this so called “freedom”, we still see the aftermath. We have failed as a nation as many times, as how many lives have been lost due to the tolerance 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 these islands are man-made, at the expense of the innocent.

And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

A condition created by the ill-minded and greatly powerful.

America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds”. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

Without reaping the benefits of the pain of the innocent, this nation would actually be sustainable.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

When equality was asked for, it took too long, and was too painful. When equality was taken and proven by the Panthers, lives of the innocent and superior were taken. An honest justification has never existed. And the FBI building is still called the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

From 1980 through 2008, 93% of Black homicide victims were murdered by Black people. Crime ridden black ghettos are systematic.

Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning

April 4th, nineteen sixty-eight was the end. Or so they thought.

For many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

“Freedom”? What were the African Americans free to do before the 50s? Obviously not talk politics. At least Assata Shakur escaped from prison. That’s black power.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

Even Patrick Henry was saying “Give me Liberty or give me death.”

“When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality

Police are the authority of the American government. The American government inherently relies on discrimination, be it racism, sexism, homophobia, or a combination of the three.

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.

The fight rages on. And we will rise together until we win. That’s black power.

I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Equality does not exist in America. Look around you. No two people grew up the same. Similarities, sure. But we didn’t all grow up with an equal economic start. Why do you think Africans are killing other Africans in this stolen land that the devils named America? It’s systematic. “Drug dealer buy jordans, crackhead buy crack, and a white man gets paid off of all of that.” I know you heard that Kanye song.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed April 4th, 1968 in Memphis Tennessee. You will all learn, with aching hearts, the severity of the poverty in this American city by the rap music that was created among this man-made Hell. Tom Skee Mask, North Memphis Playa Click, Big Hill, Gimisum Family, DJ Paul, Juicy J. That music isn’t a joke. And it shows Black Power and the will to survive. Rest in Peace Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For we have a dream too.

Featured Image: BSU poses after a successful assembly. Photo complements of Jessamyn Reichmann-Young

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