Monthly Archives: August 2013

CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending August 30th, 2013


NuStar Energy LP has signed a fuel oil supply agreement regarding its storage facility on the island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean Sea. NuStar owns over 13 million barrels of storage capacity on the island and plans to buy bunker fuel from an unnamed trading firm to supply customers in the region. The deal is expected to reduce the company’s working capital costs by $40 million to $50 million.

Although cricket in the West Indies has often played to empty stadiums, the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament has caught the enthusiasm of sports fans. The tournament attracted large crowds, Hollywood celebrities, international television exposure and many local sponsors. Organizers said the competition surpassed their expectations as Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad, was sold out for the semi-finals.

According to a study by Dr. Lucia John, director of the Dominica TM Center, transcendental meditation helps students reduce stress and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both parents and teachers have noted a real improvement in students who practice the meditation technique.

Representatives of Caribbean nations met in Barbados to discuss the challenges facing them, one of which was the impact of climate change on the region.  Travils Sinckler, official of the Environment Ministry in Barbados, said that the goal of the discussions is to alter an action plan approved by the group. Specifically, the group also addressed challenges of disease and sustainable development.

Charles Mattocks, celebrity chef, plans to launch the first ever television reality show focused on diabetes. He will provide a revolutionary approach to lifestyle management of the disease, and the program will be filmed in Jamaica. The disease is rampant in the Caribbean, with nearly 33 percent of the population suffering from diabetes. The show will focus on the lives and stories of people living in a house together and how they cope with the disease.

Countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are successfully reducing the incidence of child labor, according to a study by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The agency said that implementing a roadmap designed to help countries eliminate child slavery, prostitution, drug trafficking, and other terrible types of child labor is on track to meet its goals by 2018. The roadmap initiative provides a training tool and a means toward reducing child labor in the region.

Winston Nesbeth, 65, a businessman who lived in Montague Heights in St. Catherine was robbed and murdered in his home. According to reports, he was stabbed to death by one of two men who accosted him and his wife when they arrived home. Nesbeth was robbed of cash and jewelry. He was taken to the hospital after the attack but was pronounced dead on arrival. The perpetrators are still at large.

Prostate cancer represents a significant risk for men in Jamaica and continues to be the top cause of deaths from cancer among adult males on the island. The Jamaica Cancer Society has named September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and uses the time to raise awareness among Jamaicans of the options that exist to detect and treat this disease. The 2013 program will include a five-percent discount in the cost of prostate exams during the entire month.

According to Jamaican Opposition spokesman on finance Audley Shaw, the nation’s Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips has not managed the economy effectively. This is shown by the way the economy continues to keep Jamaicans from getting jobs and that forces private businesses into bankruptcy. Shaw said that Phillips has not “passed the people’s test” while trying to satisfy the International Monetary Fund’s requirements.

Lord Anthony Gifford, attorney-at-law, says that charging people in court for using ganja, and jailing them or fining them for ganja use, or arresting Rastafarians who use it as a sacrament, is a significant human-rights matter. He believes it is time to look at the benefits of the herb and make practical choices about how to address it. Criminal law is designed to prevent people from doing harm to one another, not to interfere when a substance is used properly and when no one is being hurt by it.



CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending August 30th, 2013


An initiative called Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Caribbean Buildings Project has been launched to help countries in the Caribbean address the high rate of petroleum product imports. ESD’s technical coordinator Dr. Al Binger believes the region has to find ways to reduce the amounts of fuel that is currently used to generate electricity. This will save millions of dollars in energy costs. Some building modifications will include replacement of doors and windows, solar water heater installations, and additional retrofits. Binger hopes that all members of CARICOM will eventually take part in the project. Belize is the first country to sign on to the initiative, with Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago to follow.

Dr. Robert Ballard, who found the wreck of the Titanic, is now exploring the deepest trough in the Caribbean Sea. Joined by other scientists in dives into the Cayman Trough, they will collect organisms from the trough that they hope will show how life could exist on other planets. The researchers are using remotely operated vehicles to investigate an underwater mountain.

Microscopic dust particles disturbed by sandstorms in Africa blow thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean every summer. The dust limits visibility of pilots and contributes to problems among people with asthma. The event has always occurred, but it has recently gained more attention as area scientists say the dust clouds have gotten bigger over time. An especially large dust cloud arrived in the eastern Caribbean and caused hazy skies in Havana, Cuba. The dust then traveled as car as Wyoming according to satellite images. It is believed the dust clouds could impact the hurricane season and have other effects on the Caribbean climate.

National Commercial Bank (NCB) Jamaica will introduce a new technology that will allow automated banking machines to read money’s face value. Jamaica National Building Society implemented a pilot project in 2012 that involved an ATM that could recognize notes’ denominations. NCB plans to provide representatives to explain the functions of the new ATMs to its branch customers.


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Trailblazer: Dr. Roland Pattillo


When Roland Anthony Pattillo received a doctor’s play kit as a gift from his parents at the tender age of seven it was a decisive moment for him; he knew that he wanted to become a physician.

And, though he proclaims that there was no profound life event prompting his desire to become a doctor, both his career and research have had profound effects on the medical community throughout the United States and the world.

Dr. Pattillo said that his father only had a modest education, making his desire to become a doctor all the more unlikely because his family could not afford to send him to medical school.

His father, who attended Tuskegee Institute, had worked his way through school by taking on student jobs—one of which was cleaning up George Washington Carver’s room! Ultimately, his father became an ironworker and spent his career working on the Missouri Pacific Railroad line.

During the time that Dr. Pattillo was growing up, segregation was everywhere and, with the possibility of becoming a doctor more of a dream then a reality; he adjusted his plans and set his sights on studying science to become a teacher.

As luck and life would have it though, by the time he graduated from Xavier University of New Orleans with a pre-med degree, Dr. Pattillo was able to attend medical school.

Because African Americans could not attend the medical school in New Orleans, the State provided him with a scholarship to attend medical school elsewhere.

“Even though I wanted to become a doctor, with six children in the family and my dad working on the railroad, it was unlikely that I would achieve my dream of becoming a doctor,” said Dr. Pattillo.

“But segregation ended up playing in my favor. I received a scholarship to attend medical school anywhere I could get admitted.”

The St. Louis University Medical School accepted him, and Dr. Pattillo was on his way to not only achieving his life-long dream, but he was headed on his journey to become one of the nation’s most prestigious physicians, professors and researchers.

Throughout medical school, Dr. Pattillo supplemented his scholarship by working several jobs—during the summers and at night.

“It was not easy, but I did what was necessary. Nothing was handed to me. I worked hard, studied hard, and it paid off,” he said.

And, indeed, it did pay off. During his tenure in medical school and throughout his residency, Dr. Pattillo studied under some of the most world-renowned doctors and researchers in the country.

First, while at the University of St. Louis School of Medicine, he had the great fortune of studying under Dr. Edward Adelbert Doisy, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine in 1943 for his foremost research related to estrogen and Vitamin K.

In addition, Dr. Pattillo was the only African American to study under Dr. George Gey at Johns Hopkins University.

Gey was the researcher who was able to grow cells taken during a biopsy when Henrietta Lacks was being treated for cervical cancer. These cultured cells gave rise to the HeLa cell line, prompting Rebecca Skloot to pen “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” a New York Times bestseller, which chronicles the conflict of the politics, ethics, racism and research surrounding the Lacks’ Family and death of Henrietta Lacks.

“Throughout my career—even during pre-medicine—my work and research has been driven by my early exposure to Henrietta Lacks and the enormous suffering that this 31 year old wife and mother had to endure.

“I was very much affected by the family’s suffering. I shared their pain and it made me want to work in medicine to become a part of research to identify new and better ways of doing things,” he said.

“Because Henrietta Lacks’ cells would grow and could be kept alive for scientists to use, we no longer had to use people as guinea pigs. Some of those early tests on humans cost a lot of lives, so I wanted to find ways to help alleviate human suffering in the name of science and research,” said Dr. Pattillo. Dr.

Pattillo’s interest in and compassion for the Lacks family led him to become well acquainted with them. He also purchased a headstone for Henrietta’s previously unmarked grave. He remains protective of the family and informally vets anyone that attempts to connect with them. In fact, only after several phone conversations with Skloot, did he facilitate an introduction that led to her interviewing the Lacks family and writing the book. “The family has endured much pain and suffering, as well as individuals attempting to prey on their misfortune and pain. Most of the family members—to this day—don’t even have health insurance, yet the medical community has benefited tremendously from the use of Henrietta’s cells,” said Dr. Pattillo. Ultimately Dr. Pattillo became a practicing physician and Professor of Gynecology, first at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and after 35 years, he moved the Reproductive tract cell bank to Morehouse School of Medicine continuing the original cell culture lines from Johns Hopkins University and the Medical College of Wisconsin. These will continue to be used in Reproductive Biology at this institution and worldwide.

Dr. Pattillo served as OB/GYN interim Chair from 1996 to 1998 at Morehouse School of Medicine. During that time, the residency program was established. He was awarded the Medallion of the International Trophoblast Society for his stem cell research in 2003. He also began hosting a women’s health conference at Morehouse School of Medicine, in honor of Lacks and invited members of the Lacks family to Atlanta to speak. The HeLa Conference recently celebrated its 18th year in September 2013.

Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology, Dr. Pattillo has authored more than 100 peer- reviewed journal publications, one book, and many book chapters. He began clinical and scientific studies in 1964 with the establishment of in-vitro cell models possessing characteristic biomarkers, which were used in multiple experimental designs for assessment of endocrine function, chemotherapy, radiation therapy sensitivity, and differentiation. The primary objective of this research was achieved in 1966 with the first identification of the Trophoblast Stem Cell and the establishment of the first human hormone synthesizing cell system to be maintained in continuous cultivation. The cell systems have been shared with scientists worldwide and the ovarian system was used to develop a new treatment for ovarian cancer.

Dr. Pattillo recently retired from his practice as a physician after more than 55 years. During Morehouse School of Medicine’s recent graduation ceremonies, he received the prestigious Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, which is bestowed on one professor and one student each year. He plans to continue his research at Morehouse School of Medicine, where he has worked for the past 18 years. Among his many awards, he also recently received the Pioneer Award from the National Institute of Health’s Contractor on Frontiers in Stem Cell Research.

While he has retired as a practicing physician, Dr. Pattillo has no plans to retire his research and numerous contributions to medicine.\

“I will continue my work in the research laboratory and I will continue to host the HeLa Conferences. As a matter of fact, the next one is scheduled for September 13th,” he said. “I won’t be doing surgery, but I will continue to do what stimulates me. I tried to improve treatments for those afflicted by disease. I tried to give them hope to continue with the passion and fire to put one foot in front of the other. I am grateful for my own health and I have had the good fortune to be a part of doing what we as physicians are supposed to do, not what we say we do,” said Dr. Pattillo.



To Grow Sweeter Produce, California Farmers Turn Off The Water


At Happy Boy Farms near Santa Cruz, Calif., Early Girl tomatoes are grown using dry-farming methods. The tomatoes have become increasingly popular with chefs and wholesalers.

Courtesy Jen Lynne/Happy Boy Farms

A week without water can easily kill the average person.

But a garden that goes unwatered for months may produce sweeter, more flavorful fruits than anything available in most mainstream supermarkets — even in the scorching heat of a California summer. Commercial growers call it “dry farming,” and throughout the state, this unconventional technique seems to be catching on among small producers of tomatoes, apples, grapes, melons and potatoes.

At Happy Boy Farms, near Santa Cruz, sales director Jen Lynne believes dry farming could be an important agricultural practice in the future, when water will likely be a less abundant resource.

But the taste of her dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes is the main reason chefs, wholesalers and individuals around the country are increasingly calling to place orders. She notes that many calls come from places where rain falls through the summer, making dry farming impossible.

“Once you taste a dry-farmed tomato, you’ll never want anything else,” she says, adding that she could be selling hundreds of 14-pound cases per day if her 10-acre tomato field could meet the demand.

At Whole Foods Market in Sebastopol, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, dry-farmed tomatoes have become a shopper attraction, according to produce buyer Allan Timpe.

“People definitely come here to get them,” he says. “Once someone tastes a dry-farmed tomato, you’ve got a customer for life.”

Timpe also carries locally grown, dry-farmed potatoes, which he says “are dense and really flavorful.”

The idea behind dry farming is that by restricting a plant’s water intake, its fruits wind up with less water content and a greater density of sugar and other flavor compounds. But the practice isn’t as simple as just cutting off the water. First, dry farming in sandy soil, through which water drains easily, doesn’t work. Just as importantly, the plants, or trees, must be dry-farmed from the time they’re planted.

“We get the plants going with a little water, then cut it off after a few weeks,” says Kevin McEnnis, who dry farms Early Girl tomatoes at Quetzal Farm in Santa Rosa.

Then, he explains, as the young but quickly growing vines become thirsty, they send their roots deeper underground than they otherwise would to find moisture, which can remain in the soil all year.

A technique that also helps dry farmers lock water underground is frequently tilling the top foot of soil into a fluffy dust layer. Underground moisture that creeps upward through the earth cannot break through this layer, and it remains below the surface.

But farming without irrigation has a major drawback: dramatically reduced yields.

Stan Devoto, a farmer in Northern California, says his dry-farmed trees produce 12 to 15 tons of apples per acre per year. Irrigated trees, on the other hand, may bear 40 or 50 tons. And McEnnis says he harvests about 4 tons of tomatoes off his acre of vines each summer and fall, whereas conventional growers may reap 40 tons per acre.

Indeed, in most areas of conventional agriculture, dry farming is unprofitable and unusual. Exceptions include most European wine grapes — which local winemaking laws actually require be grown without irrigation — and much of America’s grain production.

Paul Vossen, a University of California farm adviser in Sonoma County, says many people who dry farm do so only because they have no water with which to irrigate their land. “They do it because they have to, and so they’ll make it part of their marketing strategy,” he says.

But winemaker Will Bucklin, of Old Hill Ranch in the Sonoma Valley, has an underground water supply. Still, he dry farms 15 acres of old-vine Syrah, Zinfandel and other varieties; he’s one of just a few California winemakers currently dry farming. His grapes are smaller, and yields at harvest time slightly lower, than on irrigated vineyards.

“But the small size of the berries means there is a lower juice-to-skin ratio,” Bucklin says.

Since grape skins contain flavor-making tannins and polyphenols, dry farming can — at least in theory — produce richer, more intense wines. Bucklin concedes that he isn’t certain that a novice taster, or even an expert one, could tell a dry-farmed wine from a conventional one in a blind tasting.

But in a highly populated state where water tables are dropping and rivers dwindling to trickles, Bucklin is confident, at least, of one thing:

“I’m using a lot less water than my neighbor.”


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Will it twerk? Oxford Dictionary Online embraces selfies, geek chic and Bitcoins


Twerking, the raunchy bum wiggling dance performed by Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards, is among a slew of new terms included in an update of the Oxford Dictionary Online.

The move, which has been around on America’s hip-hop scene for 20 years, has officially gone mainstream since it was adopted by the celebrity circuit. Recent “twerkers” include One Direction’s Harry Styles, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

The word, first used in a song title, “Twerk Something”, by New Orleans bounce legend Cheeky Blakk in 1995, has been included in the latest revision of Oxford Dictionaries Online.

Although Cyrus’ energetic twerking at Sunday’s MTV awards will have been many people’s first exposure to the word, Oxford Dictionaries’ Katherine Connor Martin said it had been in use for two decades.

“There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure,” Martin told PA.

“We think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to ‘work it.’ The ‘t’ could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch.”

The official dictionary definition reads: “Twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”

Technology has also provided a large number of new words and phrases for inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary. These include another favourite celebrity pastime, the “selfie”, a camera-phone self-portrait published online, “digital detox” meaning time spent offline, and “Bitcoin”, a new a digital currency.

New terms in the updated Oxford Dictionaries Online:

  • Twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
  •  Selfie, n. (informal): a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
  • Bitcoin, n.: a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
  • Vom: v. & n. informal: (be) sick; vomit
  • Digital detox, n.: a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
  • Click and collect, n.: a shopping facility whereby a customer can buy or order goods from a store’s website and collect them from a local branch.
  • Hackerspace, n.: a place in which people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
  • Food baby, n.: a protruding stomach caused by eating a large quantity of food and supposedly resembling that of a woman in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • Street food, n.: prepared or cooked food sold by vendors in a street or other public location for immediate consumption.
  • Double denim, n.: a style of dress in which a denim jacket or shirt is worn with a pair of jeans or a denim skirt, often regarded as a breach of fashion etiquette.
  • Geek chic, n.: the dress, appearance, and culture associated with computing and technology enthusiasts, regarded as stylish or fashionable.
  • Unlike, v: withdraw one’s liking or approval of a web page or posting on a social media website that one has previously liked.
  • Phablet, n: smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.


How To Disappear When Someone’s Spying On You; ‘Privacy Wear’ Comes To Market


Whenever your cell phone is on, ‘They’ know where you are — and I mean all the Theys, the spooks, the merchants, the drone pilots, the private detectives, probably even the Chinese. If you want your privacy, says artist/designer Adam Harvey, you can go to the back of your phone, pry out the battery and break the connection, but that takes time (and long fingernails). Why should it be so hard to disappear when you want to? It shouldn’t, he says. So he’s been designing privacy accessories — spaces to hide in.

With his pal, the fabricator Johanna Bloomfield, this summer Adam went on Kickstarter to raise money for the newest design, the “OFF Pocket.” It’s a privacy product, a little cloak of invisibility …

The OFF Pocket claims to be untrackable, unhackable and undistractable.

Adam Harvey/Kickstarter

… in this case, a purse made of “specialized metal fabric” that he says will block all incoming phone signals, Wi-Fi, GPS and Internet connections. Just slip your phone in this little bag, adjust the straps, and advertisers, your government, or, if you’re a Pakistani, that drone in the sky can’t track you to your hip pocket. This was their video pitch …

This appeal worked, more than worked. Adam and Johanna were looking for $35,000, and yesterday, when the money-raising period ended, they had $56,447 from 668 people — which I don’t think they could have done a year ago.

A year ago, we hadn’t seen Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks that showed how our government collects this stuff wholesale from all of us, no warrants necessary. We didn’t know the FBI may be asking phone companies to track our calls, or that camera-bearing drones are becoming more and more popular, not just with law enforcement agencies, but with private businesses andteenagers who use them to peer through each other’s windows, or that people now walk around with “Google Glass” glasses that shoot photos and videos of friends without much evidence that there’s a camera on. At some point, all these devices, multiplying and multiplying, make us wonder, even if we’d never wondered this before, “Who’s watching me? ”

And once we start wondering, it’s only natural to think about protecting ourselves — and that’s the change, I suspect, that has just begun. How else to explain Adam and Johanna’s success this month on Kickstarter?

Beats The Refrigerator

After all, I don’t think any independent appraiser has measured the effectiveness of the OFF Pocket. In their video, Adam says their signal-proof purse works better than hiding your phone in a refrigerator (which is where Edward Snowden asked visitors to put their phones when they visited), or than dropping your phone into a cocktail shaker (something James Bond might have done).

That’s nice, but a sensible customer might want to know more, like has Consumer Reports taken one of these things to a test lab and zapped it? Or shouldn’t we worry that if we put a live phone in an out-of-the-way place, it will frantically try to find a tower to connect to, exhausting its battery? What if using an OFF Pocket drastically shortens the utility of your phone?

What’s in the “specialized metal fabric” that’s worth $85 a pop? If you wrapped your phone in tinfoil (3 cents a pop) would this work just as well?

Normally, I’d be a suspicious buyer, but the times are not normal. Adam and Johanna’s first edition of the OFF Pocket sold out. The second edition, I’m guessing, will go fast. People now want these things.

Dressing For Mass Surveillance

That wasn’t the case when Adam launched his campaign to help people “dress appropriately for a society of mass surveillance.” Last winter, Adam and Johanna teamed up to create a line of “Stealth Wear”: hoodies, cloaks, hijabs and burqas, all made of an “anti-drone” fabric, coated to keep the wearer from being seen by a spybot circling above.

He sold a single scarf. Though the price, $565, may explain that. (The burqa was listed at almost $2,300.) To be fair, Adam wasn’t trying to start a business. He’s an artist and his job, at least some of the time, is to provoke.

In that mood, he offered camouflage tips for people who don’t like facial recognition cameras. This involved breaking the facial silhouette with dagger-like coifs of highly moussed hair, like this:

My favorite is Adam’s neat little handbag, loaded with LEDs. It’s intended for paparazzid-out movie stars looking for revenge. When a pack of photographers closes in, you press a small button on your evening bag and zap them (and their cameras) with a blast of white light. Ka-POW! As you don’t see here:

None of these found a big market, or any market, really, but the OFF Pocket might. For the first time Adam and Johanna may be entertaining serious thoughts about going commercial.

What about the Bad Guys?

But here’s a little problem. There are already real businesses run by serious businessmen who say they know how to protect us from government surveillance, but so far, they don’t want to. They fear they might end up helping the Bad Guys.

Guy Cramer runs a Canadian company with a wonderfully ridiculous name, HyperStealth Biotechnologyplus an even better logo, “Shh. We Were Never Here.” But his company is big and very successful. It makes camouflage clothing for hunters (I’ve blogged about their amazing“Optifade” bet-you-can’t-see-me outfits) and for many of the world’s armies. Last year he caused a stir when he claimed to have built an “invisibility cloak” using light-bending optical camouflage that, he said, makes soldiers in the field vanish. London’s The Guardian newspaper says only “top brass [officers] have been permitted to see the cloak in action,” the reason being, Guy Cramer doesn’t want terrorists to figure out how it works.

Cramer, unlike Adam Harvey, worries more about terrorism than about privacy. His company has created products that could hide civilians from civil or military authorities, but he won’t market them. HyperStealth has a product called “Smartcamo” that makes people or things very hard to see. There’ve been demonstrations elsewhere of how a version of this might work …

Institute of Physics/YouTube

but as Cramer told the Guardian, he deliberately leaves an essential ingredient out when he sells to civilians.

“When we sell to the commercial market, we use special inks that actually don’t work under infrared conditions. It looks identical but you show up on the infrared as a big white target.” So infrared detectors will see you. Cramer says he’s not alone. His competitors, with similar products, won’t sell them to you and me, because some of those you’s and me’s are likely to be our enemies. “It would cost me pennies more to add the infrared but I wouldn’t want to give the bad guys that advantage,” he says.

This is getting interesting. On the one hand, I have no doubt there are going to be more and more people who will pay for a garment that ensures their privacy, but I don’t know which way to go on this — in Adam’s direction, where ordinary citizens get technologies that protect them from government surveillance, or in Guy’s direction, where small rogue teams of terrorists might appropriate these same technologies to do us harm. Which is the priority — our safety or our privacy?

Where do we draw the line?



Text of ‘I Have a Dream’ speech

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963, in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Here is the text of his speech:


I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

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.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!


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