Summary: As we start the New Year, these words from the past can inspire us today as they inspired their audience 45 years ago. Inspiration might be the most valuable support we need in 2012. Reposted from the archives.
Here are the concluding words of “Where Do We Go From Here?”, by Martin Luther King at the 11th annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) at Atlanta on 16 August 1967.
And I must confess, my friends, that the road ahead will not always be smooth. There will still be rocky places of frustration and meandering points of bewilderment. There will be inevitable setbacks here and there. And there will be those moments when the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair.
Our dreams will sometimes be shattered and our ethereal hopes blasted. We may again, with tear-drenched eyes, have to stand before the bier of some courageous civil rights worker whose life will be snuffed out by the dastardly acts of bloodthirsty mobs.
But difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. And as we continue our charted course, we may gain consolation from the words so nobly left by that great black bard, who was also a great freedom fighter of yesterday, James Weldon Johnson: