Four Minutes of King's Classic Speech, Retold (Video)

Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 6:05am
Four Minutes of King's Classic Speech, Retold (Video)

As MLK Day approaches, a bit of creative inspiration infuses his iconic "I Have a Dream..." speech. Watch this video remix and be inspired.

Post by:
Trent Gilliss (@TrentGilliss),  Executive Editor / Chief Content Officer for On Being
Shortened URL
16 ReflectionsRead/Add Yours

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream ...” speech is a gift. And no matter how many times I hear his speech over the radio or on the television, I’m moved and inspired. It never gets old.

But, it’s always nice to have a bit of creative inspiration infuse a classic speech. And this video from the Salt Project does just that. This remix retells the concluding four minutes of Dr. King’s speech from 1963 with a panoply of contemporary voices. You hear young and old, black and white, male and female recite Dr. King’s moving words in English and Spanish. It’ll inspire you too.

This Monday on Martin Luther King Day, I encourage you to share it with your closest friends and newest colleagues. And, then ask yourself the question put to us by Elizabeth Myer Boulton, the creative director behind the film:

How far have we come on the journey to social justice and what must be done to achieve the dream King so eloquently articulated in 1963?

Shortened URL

Trent Gilliss is the driving editorial and creative force behind On Being. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on "The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi" and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent's reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

Add Your Reflection

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><span><div><img><!-->
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Embed content by wrapping a supported URL in [embed] … [/embed].

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Truly inspiring, and made me think of how I also ardently want us all to be free of the status quo, business as usual, that makes our food, water, soil and air toxic for us and for our children.


Some things can never be covered as successfully as the original. From an anti-racism perspective, it's a bit concerning that anglo speakers outnumber any other group and soul patch seems to be taking the lead, while other people of color are not represented at all. At least, kudos for Spanish translation,that was well done.

Why is this video frozen on a glorious Latina when a white man is taking center stage? I don't understand why anyone felt Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words needed to be restated by this white man who obviously had nothing to do with the Civil Rights Movement. I would have preferred to hear the entire speech given by this woman through whom shines the Gospel.


Correction: GLOrious, POWerful White Man.
Sorry, my mistake.


Moving. The panoply of voices is stirring. Initially, I had a reaction to the White male in the video, and I was quickly reminded that racism is a White people problem If it is to be appropriately addressed, White people must be prominently involved. Their humanity is at stake, too. They are part of the tapestry of oppression and liberation. Thanks for sharing this. I will be forwarding it to my friends and colleagues.

We persist and insist on seeing difference, color, gender, race, as the previous comments highlight, but this is precisely the transcending power of this land, the inclusion that it fosters despite its antiquated, inhuman laws and still narrow-minded perception of minorities and the absolutely mind-boggling fact of humanity's infinite capacity to defy norms, to re-establish normalcy and to reconfigure its very essence... Last year I prepared a woman who had been victimized in our homeland, Colombia, and who saw in the words of the Constitution and the founding principles of this land not hollow ideals to be recited dutifully, but real, tangible factors of hope and change, and she persevered, and became an American, and her faith renewed mine, we can dream, we can attain, and together, we are so much more!

Lina, I love the way you describe the transcending power of this land with such beauty, starkness and honesty. Thank you for seeing beyond the colors in the video.


Krista, you look just like Meryl Streep!


I am so very grateful for the attention paid to Dr. King's speech. I love seeing Matthew Boulton's and Allan Boesak's faces. But I grieve that, once again, the speech made at the "March for Jobs and Freedom" (for that was what it was called) obscures the ground in which this fertile speech bloomed. It was Dr. King, in that same speech, who warned of the "promissory note" that American owes that is STILL (even 50+ years later) returned "insufficient funds." Perhaps a link could be included with the words of the speech? Thanks for considering . . .


Top Blog Posts

With the dulcet tones of the Copenhagen Phil, commuters find a moment of unexpected musical joy in this flash mob scene. You will too.
Parker Palmer reflects on "sharing our loves and doubts" as way into more generous conversations — all through the lens of a poem by Yehuda Amichai.
A worthy week filled with viral videos that will make you rethink your use of language and make you smile, and posts about a writer's prayer journal and a poem from Rumi that will inspire you.
When a millennial woman hears about Buddhist teachings on overcoming anger through love, she decides to try out a meditation practice experiment on her own social media feeds.
Flannery O'Connor's prayer journal offers a rare glimpse into the life of a brilliant writer, colored by doubt and uncertainty, preoccupied with both magnificent grace and the mundane absurdity of everyday life.