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August 27, 2013 > 'I Have a Dream' celebrates the big 5-0

'I Have a Dream' celebrates the big 5-0

By Mission San Jose High students and teacher
Photos By Andrea Brandle

Introduction by Risha Krishna, MSJHS Ethnic Studies Teacher/ Social Studies Department Chair
As the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's momentous "I Have a Dream" speech nears on August 28, it is appropriate that we take some time to reflect on the extremely powerful Civil Rights Movement. In fact, recently, that is what seven Mission San Jose High School (MSJHS) students from Fremont did at Stanford University's King Institute under the experienced guidance of Dr. Clayborne Carson, the director of the Martin Luther King Education and Research Institute.


Bethool Haider (MSJHS student)
On first impression, the King Center seemed modest compared to the grandeur of the rest of the campus, but from the inside it is a piece of heaven for all those who revere history. We were ushered into the library of the institute, an airy room with large windows and lined with books from floor to ceiling, all available for our research. After some deliberation, we decided to focus our studies on Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, commemorating the speech's fiftieth anniversary.

By the end of the week, I was left with a pen drained of ink, a notebook with at least twenty pages of notes, and a mind that holds a new appreciation for the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. and all those who took part in it. Always a history fanatic, I would often study the movement on my own, but I was never shown such a perspective on the events. This experience is certainly not one to be forgotten.


Andrea Brandle (MSJHS student)
I have never felt as connected to an issue, one that is so monumental and intricate as I feel toward the Civil Rights Movement; or, as Dr. Clayborne Carson from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University prefers to call it, the Freedom Rights Struggle. Before attending the internship, I had learned about the Civil Rights Movement more of as a story and simply events in the past. Dr. Carson and Dr. Jones both helped me realize that everything happened not that long ago and is still relevant to the present. I gained so much more appreciation for people like Dr. Carson and Dr. Jones. I was amazed at how much courage they had to put their whole lives into an uncertain cause. It was a surreal feeling, knowing that these two men in front of me have changed our country. Dr. Jones, also being Martin Luther King's personal advisor, said that Dr. King also had some fears and uncertainties but he knew that fighting for freedom and equality of all is what the United States needed.


Cathy Tripp (MSJHS student)
What was the motivation for such a passionate and heartwarming speech? Who were the people involved and what role did they play? What does it even mean? These were only a few of the questions that my peers and I were to analyze during the week we spent at The Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute.

In retrospect, five days was not nearly enough time to truly submerse ourselves in the abundance of information that was supplied for us at the institute. It was truly an honor to speak with both Drs. Carson and Jones, two exceptional figures in the freedom struggle that was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream. The experience that we had at the King Institute was extraordinary and unforgettable.

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