Preaching the Dream: 5 important speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.

Our God is Marching on – March 25, 1965

The film "Selma" hits theaters across the U.S. on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25, 2014. |

Although the Civil Rights Act had been passed by the federal government, refusals on the part of Southern states to enforce it helped lead King and others to organize the Selma March.

After thousands of demonstrators marched from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital of Montgomery, King delivered what is commonly called his “Our God is Marching On” speech.

Named such because King quoted from the famous “Battle Hymn of the Republic” song, an estimated 25,000 onlookers heard the speech given in the heart of the Jim Crow South.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech under the most trying of circumstances, forging rays of hope amid tragedy and strife of landmark resonance,” wrote Marc Ramirez of the Seattle Times in a 2008 piece.

“Listen — and you'll hear the words of a man who was more than just an orator. Listen, and in those words you'll hear not only yesterday's struggles but the challenges of today.”

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