Gary Younge, an author, broadcaster, and award-winning columnist for the Guardian, based in Chicago has written the book, "The Speech, The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream". About how Dr. King's now -famous "I Have A Dream " speech came to be made that day of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Born in Britain to Barbadian parents, Mr. Younge reported all over Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean before being appointed the Guardian’s US correspondent in 2003. In 2011 he moved to Chicago.
Mr. Younge says in the introduction, that the book arose out of his long-standing interest in the American South and his commitment to social justice. Mr. Younge had written two previous books about the US from his own British and Black perspective.
His book relates how the speech that Dr. King eventually gave was not the prepared speech that he took to the podium that day. Mr. Younge points out that Dr. King solicited and received many suggestions for what his speech should contain given the historic context. Several had told him that the dream motif would be considered trite and cliched.
However, on the podium Dr. King set aside the prepared speech and began his now famous speech. The author, in the introduction of the book, quotes Clarence Jones who had written the final draft of the prepared speech, "When reading from his text, he stood like a lecturer," "But from the moment he set the text aside, he took on the stance of a Baptist preacher."
At the time, while the speech was well received by the thousands present in the Washington mall, reviews were mixed both among the White and Black communities. There were criticisms that it didn't have the programatic substance that many had expected.
Yet decades later, what Dr; King said and how he said those powerful, hopeful words, on that historic occassion, resonates not only in the struggles in the U.S. but around the world. Author Younge quotes Mr. Jones again. "We caught lightening in a bottle that day".
Also see article by author Gary Younge in the Nation Magazine :
The Misremembering of ‘I Have a Dream’
Fifty years after the March on Washington, Dr. King’s most famous speech, like his own political legacy, is widely misunderstood.