As writers, I’m sure that we agree that words carry incredible power.
However, there are times when stories and ideas have the shear force to change the way that we view the world and ourselves. These occasions are rare, but they are important to remember and reflect upon their significance.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of what was perhaps Lyndon Johnson’s finest moment as president, eight days after the world was riveted by police violence against peaceful protesters in Selma, Alabama. Johnson delivered a speech that stands out as one of the most important presidential declarations on racial justice in American history.
The speech was titled the American Promise. In the speech to a joint congressional session he talks about how America is at a crossroad and it’s up to the American people to choose the right path. The speech is best remembered for its final line, “We shall overcome.” With those final words, the president legitimized the civil rights movement’s catchphrase.
I have attached a link his speech at the bottom. It is one of the most important and powerful speeches given by a president in the 20th century.