50 Years After MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Trayvon Martin Verdict Reveals Deep Racial Divide

On August 28, 2013 citizens from across this country will converge upon our nation’s capital to commemorate and celebrate the historic March On Washington which occurred 50 years ago on August 28, 1963. It was on that day that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I have a Dream” speech, in which he said:

921b08eaf5bf4e3fc72b90ba0b031196“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 their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, (…) little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.”

While some point to the election of Barack Obama as evidence that we are closer than ever to achieving MLK’s dream, a recent Pew Center Research poll on the Zimmerman verdict reveals a major racial divide: “African Americans express a clear and strong reaction to the case and its meaning: By an 86% to 5% margin, blacks are dissatisfied with Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin. And nearly eight-in-ten blacks (78%) sAmong whites; more are satisfied (49%) than dissatisfied (30%) with the outcome of the Zimmerman trial. Just 28% of whites say the case raises important issues about race, while twice as many (60%) say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.”

With that in mind, we visited several neighborhoods in Boston to take the temperature of people in the streets about race, the Zimmerman verdict, MLK’s dream, and white privilege.


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