"We Shall Overcome" - MLK Speech

"We Shall Overcome" became the rallying cry of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. 

From singing the song at funerals of murdered civil-rights workers (such as James Chaney), to serving as the theme of a speech (by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), "we shall overcome" set the tone of the struggle for African-Americans - and all downtrodden people - to regain their civil rights.

This clip, of Dr. King's 1965 sermon delivered at Temple Israel of Hollywood, includes these words:

We shall overcome.  We shall overcome.  Deep in my heart I do believe we shall overcome.  And I believe it because somehow the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

We shall overcome because Carlyle is right; no lie can live forever. [See The French Revolution: A History.]

We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant is right; truth crushed to earth will rise again. [See "The Battlefield."]

We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell is right [in "The Present Crisis"]:

Truth forever on the scaffold,
Wrong forever on the throne.
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown
Standeth God, within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.

Temple Israel of Hollywood first made the long-forgotten recording of Dr. King's speech available to the public in 2007.  You can hear the entire sermon at NPR (National Public Radio).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5199stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jun 18, 2024

Media Credits

Clip from the 1965 "We Shall Overcome" speech, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., online courtesy  Temple Israel of Hollywood and Trippin2Billie's Channel at YouTube.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

""We Shall Overcome" - MLK Speech" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 17, 2024.
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