He’s arguably one of the most inspiring and great orators in American history and certainly needs no introduction—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In honor of #MLKDay, I wanted to remind myself why he was such a great force in the fight for justice and freedom for all. I was not even alive when he was spreading the message of justice and freedom. So for me, I was interested in other speeches he gave. Luckily, I stumbled upon this rarely seen footage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967, where he delivered his speech “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?”
Dr. King, began his speech by saying, “Blueprint serves as the pattern, as the guide, as the model for those who are to build the building. And a building is not well constructed without a good sound blueprint.” Then goes on to talk to the students about what they should have in their life’s blueprint.
Here are the top 10 things Dr. King said should be in your life’s blueprint:
- In your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth, and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody. Always feel that you count, always feel that you have worth, and always feel like your life has ultimate significance.
- You must have as a basic principle in your life to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavors.
- However young you are, you have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live. You have a responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody. And so you must be involved in the struggle for freedom and justice.
- Don’t drop out of school and I understand all the sociological reasons why we often drop out of school, but I urge you in spite of your economic and despite the conditions you are forced to live, don’t drop out of school.
- Don’t be ashamed of your color. Don’t be ashamed of your biological features. Somehow you must be able to say in your own lives andreally believe it, “I am black but beautiful”, and believe it in your heart
- Be sure that you have a principle of somebodiness.
- Our slogan must not be “burn, baby burn” but “build, baby build”; “organize, baby organize”. Yes, our slogan must be “learn, baby learn” so we can “earn, baby earn”.
- Be the best of whatever you are.
- And don’t just set out to be a good Negro but set out to do a good job that anybody can do. Don’t set out to be just a Negro doctor, don’t set out to be just a Negro lawyer, don’t set out to be just a Negro schoolteacher, don’t set out to be just a Negro preacher, don’t set out to be just a Negro barber or beautician, or don’t set out to be just a Negro skill laborer. For if you set out to do that you have already flunked your matriculation exam for entrance into the university of integration. Set out to do a good job and do that job so well that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.
- You must make a commitment to the eternal principles of beauty, love, and justice. Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low as to make you hate them. Don’t allow anybody to cause you to lose your self-respect to the point that you do not struggle for justice however young you are; you have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live. You have a responsibility to make life better for everybody, as so you must be in involved in the struggle for freedom and justice.
Yes, there is the world famous “I have a Dream” speech, but Dr. King spoke all over and some of those speeches are filled with life inspirations to last a life time, and some are so poignant in today’s world and worth a listen. Hey, never too late—there are tons of footages on YouTube. I would highly recommend listening the speech, it’s less than 20 minutes and worth a listen.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint Speech | https://youtu.be/ZmtOGXreTOU.
“Don’t allow anybody to cause you to lose your self-respect to the point that you do not struggle for justice.” | Happy MLK Day!