Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream/Tengo un Sueño”, en Inglés y Español

The 28th of August marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous speech, “I have a dream”.

martin-luther-king-jr-speech

It changed America and it changed the world. Equality and political freedom for all! But how familiar are you with the speech? Here you can read Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in both English and Spanish.

Tengo un Sueño”, en Inglés

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

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. 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 languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing apromissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, 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. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and thesecurity of justice. 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. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, 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. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “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. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still 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.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there 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.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

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. 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 languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing apromissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, 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. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and thesecurity of justice. 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. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, 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. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “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. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still 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.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there 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.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Tengo un sueño/I Have a Dream, en Español


Estoy contento de reunirme hoy con vosotros y con vosotras en la que pasará a la historia como la mayor manifestación por la libertad en la historia de nuestra nación.

Hace un siglo, un gran americano, bajo cuya simbólica sombra nos encontramos, firmó la Proclamación de Emancipación. Este trascendental decreto llegó como un gran faro de esperanza para millones de esclavos negros y esclavas negras, que habían sido quemados en las llamas de una injusticia aniquiladora. Llegó como un amanecer dichoso para acabar con la larga noche de su cautividad.

Pero cien años después, las personas negras todavía no son libres. Cien años después, la vida de las personas negras sigue todavía tristemente atenazada por los grilletes de la segregación y por las cadenas de la discriminación. Cien años después, las personas negras viven en una isla solitaria de pobreza en medio de un vasto océano de prosperidad material. Cien años después, las personas negras todavía siguen languideciendo en los rincones de la sociedad americana y se sienten como exiliadas en su propia tierra. Así que hemos venido hoy aquí a mostrar unas condiciones vergonzosas.

Hemos venido a la capital de nuestra nación en cierto sentido para cobrar un cheque. Cuando los arquitectos de nuestra república escribieron las magnificientes palabras de la Constitución y de la Declaración de Independencia, estaban firmando un pagaré del que todo americano iba a ser heredero. Este pagaré era una promesa de que a todos los hombres —sí, a los hombres negros y también a los hombres blancos— se les garantizarían los derechos inalienables a la vida, a la libertad y a la búsqueda de la felicidad.

Hoy es obvio que América ha defraudado en este pagaré en lo que se refiere a sus ciudadanos y ciudadanas de color. En vez de cumplir con esta sagrada obligación, América ha dado al pueblo negro un cheque malo, un cheque que ha sido devuelto marcado “sin fondos”.

Pero nos negamos a creer que el banco de la justicia está en bancarrota. Nos negamos a creer que no hay fondos suficientes en las grandes arcas bancarias de las oportunidades de esta nación. Así que hemos venido a cobrar este cheque, un cheque que nos dé mediante reclamación las riquezas de la libertad y la seguridad de la justicia. También hemos venido a este santo lugar para recordar a América la intensa urgencia de este momento. No es tiempo de darse al lujo de refrescarse o de tomar el tranquilizante del gradualismo. Ahora es tiempo de hacer que las promesas de democracia sean reales. Ahora es tiempo de subir desde el oscuro y desolado valle de la segregación al soleado sendero de la justicia racial. Ahora es tiempo de alzar a nuestra nación desde las arenas movedizas de la injusticia racial a la sólida roca de la fraternidad. Ahora es tiempo de hacer que la justicia sea una realidad para todos los hijos de Dios.

Sería desastroso para la nación pasar por alto la urgencia del momento y subestimar la determinación de las personas negras. Este asfixiante verano del legítimo descontento de las personas negras no pasará hasta que haya un estimulante otoño de libertad e igualdad. Mil novecientos sesenta y tres no es un fin, sino un comienzo. Quienes esperaban que las personas negras necesitaran soltar vapor y que ahora estarán contentos, tendrán un brusco despertar si la nación vuelve a su actividad como si nada hubiera pasado. No habrá descanso ni tranquilidad en América hasta que las personas negras tengan garantizados sus derechos como ciudadanas y ciudadanos. Los torbellinos de revuelta continuarán sacudiendo los cimientos de nuestra nación hasta que nazca el día brillante de la justicia.

Pero hay algo que debo decir a mi pueblo, que está en el caluroso umbral que lleva al interior del palacio de justicia. En el proceso de conseguir nuestro legítimo lugar, no debemos ser culpables de acciones equivocadas. No busquemos saciar nuestra sed de libertad bebiendo de la copa del encarnizamiento y del odio.  Debemos conducir siempre nuestra lucha en el elevado nivel de la dignidad y la disciplina. No debemos permitir que nuestra fecunda protesta degenere en violencia física. Una y otra vez debemos ascender a las majestuosas alturas donde se hace frente a la fuerza física con la fuerza espiritual. La maravillosa nueva militancia que ha envuelto a la comunidad negra no debe llevarnos a desconfiar de todas las personas blancas, ya que muchos de nuestros hermanos blancos, como su presencia hoy aquí evidencia, han llegado a ser conscientes de que su destino está atado a nuestro destino. Han llegado a darse cuenta de que su libertad está inextricablemente unida a nuestra libertad. No podemos caminar solos.

Y mientras caminamos, debemos hacer la solemne promesa de que siempre caminaremos hacia adelante. No podemos volver atrás. Hay quienes están preguntando a los defensores de los derechos civiles: “¿Cuándo estaréis satisfechos?” No podemos estar satisfechos mientras las personas negras sean víctimas de los indecibles horrores de la brutalidad de la policía. No podemos estar satisfechos mientras nuestros cuerpos, cargados con la fatiga del viaje, no puedan conseguir alojamiento en los moteles de las autopistas ni en los hoteles de las ciudades. No podemos estar satisfechos mientras la movilidad básica de las personas negras sea de un ghetto más pequeño a otro más amplio. No podemos estar satisfechos mientras nuestros hijos sean despojados de su personalidad y privados de su dignidad por letreros que digan “sólo para blancos”. No podemos estar satisfechos mientras una persona negra en Mississippi no pueda votar y una persona negra en Nueva York crea que no tiene nada por qué votar. No, no, no estamos satisfechos y no estaremos satisfechos hasta que la justicia corra como las aguas y la rectitud como un impetuoso torrente.

No soy inconsciente de que algunos de vosotros y vosotras habéis venido aquí después de grandes procesos y tribulaciones. Algunos de vosotros y vosotras habéis salido recientemente de estrechas celdas de una prisión. Algunos de vosotros y vosotras habéis venido de zonas donde vuestra búsqueda de la libertad os dejó golpeados por las tormentas de la persecución y tambaleantes por los vientos de la brutalidad de la policía. Habéis sido los veteranos del sufrimiento fecundo. Continuad trabajando con la fe de que el sufrimiento inmerecido es redención.

Volved a Mississippi, volved a Alabama, volved a Carolina del Sur, volved a Georgia, volved a Luisiana, volved a los suburbios y a los ghettos de nuestras ciudades del Norte, sabiendo que de un modo u otro esta situación puede y va a ser cambiada.

No nos hundamos en el valle de la desesperación. Aun así, aunque vemos delante las dificultades de hoy y mañana, amigos míos, os digo hoy: todavía tengo un sueño. Es un sueño profundamente enraizado en el sueño americano.

Tengo un sueño: que un día esta nación se pondrá en pie y realizará el verdadero significado de su credo: “Sostenemos que estas verdades son evidentes por sí mismas: que todos los hombres han sido creados iguales”.

Tengo un sueño: que un día sobre las colinas rojas de Georgia los hijos de quienes fueron esclavos y los hijos de quienes fueron propietarios de esclavos serán capaces de sentarse juntos en la mesa de la fraternidad.

Tengo un sueño: que un día incluso el estado de Mississippi, un estado sofocante por el calor de la injusticia, sofocante por el calor de la opresión, se transformará en un oasis de libertad y justicia.

Tengo un sueño: que mis cuatro hijos vivirán un día en una nación en la que no serán juzgados por el color de su piel sino por su reputación.

Tengo un sueño hoy.

Tengo un sueño: que un día allá abajo en Alabama, con sus racistas despiadados, con su gobernador que tiene los labios goteando con las palabras de interposición y anulación, que un día, justo allí en Alabama niños negros y niñas negras podrán darse la mano con niños blancos y niñas blancas, como hermanas y hermanos.

Tengo un sueño hoy.

Tengo un sueño: que un día todo valle será alzado y toda colina y montaña será bajada, los lugares escarpados se harán llanos y los lugares tortuosos se enderezarán y la gloria del Señor se mostrará y toda la carne juntamente la verá.

Ésta es nuestra esperanza. Ésta es la fe con la que yo vuelvo al Sur. Con esta fe seremos capaces de cortar de la montaña de desesperación una piedra de esperanza. Con esta fe seremos capaces de transformar las chirriantes disonancias de nuestra nación en una hermosa sinfonía de fraternidad. Con esta fe seremos capaces de trabajar juntos, de rezar juntos, de luchar juntos, de ir a la cárcel juntos, de ponernos de pie juntos por la libertad, sabiendo que un día seremos libres.

Éste será el día, éste será el día en el que todos los hijos de Dios podrán cantar con un nuevo significado “Tierra mía, es a ti, dulce tierra de libertad, a ti te canto. Tierra donde mi padre ha muerto, tierra del orgullo del peregrino, desde cada ladera suene la libertad”.

Y si América va a ser una gran nación, esto tiene que llegar a ser verdad. Y así, suene la libertad desde las prodigiosas cumbres de las colinas de New Hampshire. Suene la libertad desde las enormes montañas de Nueva York. Suene la libertad desde los elevados Alleghenies de Pennsylvania.

Suene la libertad desde las Rocosas cubiertas de nieve de Colorado. Suene la libertad desde las curvas vertientes de California.

Pero no sólo eso; suene la libertad desde la Montaña de Piedra de Georgia.

Suene la libertad desde el Monte Lookout de Tennessee.

Suene la libertad desde cada colina y cada topera de Mississippi, desde cada ladera.

Suene la libertad. Y cuando esto ocurra y cuando permitamos que la libertad suene, cuando la dejemos sonar desde cada pueblo y cada aldea, desde cada estado y cada ciudad, podremos acelerar la llegada de aquel día en el que todos los hijos de Dios, hombres blancos y hombres negros, judíos y gentiles, protestantes y católicos, serán capaces de juntar las manos y cantar con las palabras del viejo espiritual negro: “¡Al fin libres! ¡Al fin libres! ¡Gracias a Dios Todopoderoso, somos al fin libres!”

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The 28th of August marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous speech, “I have a dream”. It changed America and it changed...
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