Once a man had a dream.He dreamed of a land of peace and harmony.He dreamed of a place where people were not judged by their skin color.He dreamed of a country where children of different races could play together.He dreamed of a nation where all people were equal.Some people didn't like his dream.They said it would never happen.Some people applauded his dream.They wanted to make it happen.This noble vision has come true for some.For others,it's still just a fantasy.
In 1963,this man,Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.,expressed his vision in the famous speech,"I Have a Dream."But the dream-rooted in the American Dream-wasn't really new.From the beginning,this nation of immigrants welcomed people desiring freedom and a new start.However,the coming together of different races and ethnic groups created some tensions.The early Americans (except for the native "Indians")were almost all white Europeans.As more immigrants arrived,European groups fit into society easily.Others found it more difficult.
Black people were the only "immigrants"who didn't choose to come to America.For hundreds of years,Africans were taken from their homes to be slaves in the New World.Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had slaves.The phrase "all men are created equal"didn't apply to blacks in their day.The end of the Civil War finally brought freedom to the slaves in 1865,but blacks still had a lower position in society.Many Southern states practiced segregation to "keep blacks in their place."Blacks and whites went to different schools,ate at different restaurants,even drank from different water fountains.