Saint Peter's College Michaelmas Convocation


From earliest years all of us have lived through this hypocrisy and contradiction in our lives as we witnessed the dominant tragedy which has clouded and frustrated the lives of twenty million Americans in the south and in the north. From the depth of this American tragedy, an anguished cry of human pain arises ever more urgently throughout the land. From the depths of the American conscience, an answering cry of human protest echoes ever more clearly throughout the land. And the cries of pain and of protest have finally blended to trumpet a call for the end to the hypocrisy and cruelty in the contradiction within a society so organized as to deprive Negro persons of social, economic, cultural, educational opportunities, of self-respect, of jobs, homes, personal security, of a genuine sense of belonging.

Has our progress in degeneracy been rapid as Lincoln said? There is one leader of the Negro movement for racial equality who will never and should never allow us to forget this rapid descent in degeneracy. Dr. Martin Luther King is President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; he received his Ph.D. from Boston University to which he has forwarded all of his writings. He is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, of scores of citations, includ- ing the canonization of Time's cover on three occasions; he was given the Nobel Peace Prize last year, is the author of books with ringing titles such as "Stride Toward Freedom," "The Measure of Man," and "Letter From a Birmingham City Jail." But far and above all of these honors, honorary degrees, citations, journalistic canonizations, Dr. King is a dreamer. Remember his prophetic dream for all America in Washington as he stood at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and cried:

I have a dream . . . . it is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream .... I have a dream that one day in the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood . . . . I have a dream . . .
Dreams are important to Dr. King. He was dreaming when his wife, Coretta, called the hospital where he was resting to tell him that he had just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Some of his dreams must have been shattered when he realized that in the six days of violence, un- controlled, in the area of Los Angeles, even among the intelligent writers there would be made the charge of responsibility and the guilt would be placed upon his shoulders. His dreams must have been shattered


Dr. Martin Luther King's Speeches In Jersey City