The Fierce Urgency of Now

January 19, 2009

It’s been a few years since I’ve heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech in its entirety.  If it’s been a while for you, too, take ten minutes and watch it here.  It’s never been more moving.  Two phrases are particularly striking in context of the history this country will be making tomorrow.  In describing the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King spoke in his 1963 speech of “the fierce urgency of now,” and optimistically saw “out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

More the 45 years later, on this day when we honor Dr. King, and on the eve of the Inauguration of Barack Obama, it’s worth pausing to remember how far we’ve come.  And how far we have left to go.