Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, "I Have a Dream," speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C.
Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, "I Have a Dream," speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C.

Sixty years after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a diverse group of educators and theologians have introduced a six-part video Bible study lesson inspired by the civil rights leader’s celebrated words.

The Bible study, titled “Share the Dream: Shining a Light in a Divided World through Six Principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” inspires people to transform their communities for Christ through love, conscience, freedom, justice, perseverance and hope.  

“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,” King eloquently declared on Aug. 28, 1963.

The words Dr.King spoke 60 years ago were a haunting reminder that his dream of a peaceful, non-racist community is yet to be achieved in Alabama, after people across the country and world recently witnessed video of a racial brawl sparked after a group of white people beat up a Black employee, along the Montgomery riverfront.

While there’s still work to be done in achieving the “dream,” the incident serves as a perfect teachable moment for the group of theologians, faith and political leaders, and chaplains, who published the study resource.

“Dr. King’s message is as relevant today as it was 60 years ago,” said Ambassador Young. “Share the Dream is an excellent resource for churches, ministries, and individuals to reclaim their dream and put it into practice right now.” 

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black noted, “In these difficult and dangerous times, this material needs to be in the arsenal of those who seek to bring healing to our hurting nation.”

Share the Dream was released by HarperCollins Publishing in collaboration with Urban Ministries, Inc., and The K.I.N.G. Movement on Aug. 8, just weeks before the momentous 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech.  

Co-hosted by Matthew Daniels, J.D., Ph.D., a human rights and counter-terrorism expert, and Chris Broussard, an acclaimed journalist, and Fox Sports broadcaster,  the project features many celebrities and recording artists including LaCrae, and offers Sunday school lessons for all ages.

 “Many of us have been sidelined for too long and paralyzed by the complexity of the issues facing us,” Daniels told The Informer. “To truly enact change, we have to build networks and communities that can model and spread the ideas that are the spiritual and educational antidote to ideologies of hatred, racism, and violence.”   

Daniels said the Sunday School lesson is part of a“three-legged stool,” to teach Dr. King’s messages to students in K-12, to college students, and those in the faith community. 

“When you have an infection you need antibodies and in this case, the antibodies are young people Black, white, brown, and yellow who have embraced Dr. King’s principles and are spreading them to their peers,” Daniels said.

“The Pandemic hurt democracies around the world, we saw it on January 6, we saw it in France, we see it in other parts of the world. This is a very fragile moment and that’s all the more reason that we have to go on offense for good,”  Daniels explained. “Digital media can spread information around the world. We have to inoculate minds for Dr. King’s principles, in the same way, hate groups teach white supremacy.”

According to a new study released in April by Pew Research Center, six decades after Martin Luther King Jr.  “I Have a Dream”  speech, 81% of Americans say that King had a positive impact on the country, and many say his legacy influenced their views on racial equality.

In addition, 52% of the more than 5,000 people surveyed believe the U.S. has made at least a fair amount of progress on racial equality in the last 60 years; an identical share said efforts toward equality in general haven’t gone far enough.

“We have to aim at the young people. The young people are the place where we can change the future for the white young people as well as African Americans,” Daniels, 60, said. “Here I am, a white guy teaching king because the white community needs this more than anybody else.”

C. Jeffrey Wright is the chief executive officer of Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI), the largest media and publishing firm serving African American churches and denominations in the U.S.  Wright, whose family members live in Alabama, said that part of progress is understanding history. 

“This curriculum can really teach history. Half the Blacks in this country were born after Dr. King died and they don’t know who he was and what he did. And if we don’t know, we can’t expect our Anglo brothers to know who he was and what he did.”

He also said that people can be inspired by King’s story and sacrifice for the good of his people and the country.

“King grew up in a third-generation home owned by his grandparents, King’s father was a Morehouse college graduate. Today half Black Americans don’t own their own homes,” Wright said. “He sacrificed his privilege for the least of these… He didn’t live past 40.”

Wright emphasized that the work is not only on Black Americans to fight systemic racism.

“We have reached out to our white churches to partner with Black churches to study these principles together,” Wright said. “One principle is one love. We need to lead with love. You can’t say you love God and you don’t love your brother. Everybody needs to operate from a place of peace and love.”

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the...

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