Aug 282013

Below are 3 stills from James Blue’s documentary The March, documenting the 1963 March on Washington 50 years ago by 200 000 peaceful protesters, which culminated in Martin Luther King Jr’s historic “I have a dream” speech. The non-violent revolutionary envisioned that the next generation of Americans would be judged by “the content of their character” and not “the color of their skin”.

Martin Luther King I have a dream speech August 28 1963-1-
Martin Luther King I have a dream speech August 28 1963-2
Martin Luther King I have a dream speech August 28 1963-3



I have a dream Martin Luther King full speechThis is a low-quality version of the entire 16-minute “I have a dream” speech, with the option to see sub-titles in English or French.

These other films of the speech have been taken off YouTube:

The-March-James-BlueThe entire 33-minute film The March on YouTube
— Unfortunately this material has been taken off the web because of copyright issues, as explained in the comment below by Barry Strongin

The-March-James-Blue-I have a dream 6minute edit
Or The March‘s 6-minute edit of King’s “I have a dream” speech, which begins 23 minutes in.
— Unfortunately this material has been taken off the web because of copyright issues, as explained in the comment below by Barry Strongin



The March by James Blue has just been restored by National Archives. The film was shot in 35mm black and white — given the beautiful low-contrast image, I suspect that they used Kodak’s Double-X stock.

Unfortunately, Blue’s film lacks a few tight shots in the middle of the speech — Barry Strongin explains in his comment below that is this is because Blue’s camera malfunctioned. Nevertheless, The March remains a unique document of one of the shining moments in the history of the United States.



James Blue facebook page
via Barry Strongin

See also The Bus by Haskell Wexler.

Evan Bissel’s web app presents the speech as a meta-teleprompter with many links



Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1964 for his non-violent campaigns to end racial segregation and promote equality. He was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. He is rightfully honored as one of the great Americans, alongside Washington and Lincoln.

Although I love “I have a dream”, my favorite speech by Martin Luther King is the one he gave the night before his assassination: “I have been to the mountain top“.

You can listen to the entire 43-minute speech on YouTube.

Or listen to the rousing, prophetic and death-defying 8-minute conclusion, which starts by recounting a previous assassination attempt, and ends with:

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

Martin Luther King, Jr


  2 Responses to “Martin Luther King: “I have a dream” August 28 1963”

  1. Dear Benjamin,

    Thank you for your post regarding James Blue’s recently restored USIA film, THE MARCH (1964). I was a student of Blue’s at the University of Buffalo in the late ’70s, and I recall him explaining that his cameras lost sync-sound during Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, hence the absence of medium shots and close-ups.

    Unfortunately, the King family and their lawyers claiming copyright ownership of the speech have recently forced the National Archives to redact the soundtrack of the speech from Blue’s award-winning film. THE MARCH, a poetic documentary of a great historical event, is now bereft of the soundtrack for its most important and transcendent sequence.

    Please visit: Remembering Documentary Filmmaker James Blue (1930-1980).

    Best regards,
    Barry Strongin

    • Thank you Barry for the heads up about the copyright issues, and for the explanation for the missing tight shots of the speech.

      All the best

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