Victoria takes 2nd in MLK Oratorical Contest: Read her address

“Defend the dream united; promote non-violence, 

social justice and positive behavior”

By Victoria Lawrence

Good morning!

I’m Victoria Lawrence, the daughter of  Herman and Judith Lawrence. I’m in the 10th grade and I attend Inlet Grove Community High School.

Today, my speech will reflect on defending the dream united; promoting non-violence, social justice and positive behavior.

I would like to begin my message by providing a little information that impressed me the most about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was a devout preacher, husband, father and a messenger of defending the dream united.

Dr. King defended his dream by demonstrating one of the greatest moments and messages of freedom in history, which is “I have a Dream.” He united communities of many people together, which sparked a revolution for freedom from a nation full of unfair politics, struggles, and racism.

Dr. King had a dream for black Americans, white Americans, and for all people to live together, walk together and pray together. He promoted love, hope, integrity, non-violence, peace, and brotherhood.

The battle scars that Dr. King received during struggles to obtain freedom, before making the “I have a Dream” speech, today, it is called affirmative actions, according to New Orleans Editor, Jarvis Deberry; because it betrays unity in how the people marched together to Washington D.C., while singing, “We Shall Overcome”to defend their rights, “our rights” as human beings and to gain social justice.

It is also believed that Dr. King had to have a positive spiritual demeanor for others to follow and trust in him.

Dr. King was an advocate of defending his dream of being united in promoting non-violence and social justice. Although, he and the people who followed were hosed down with water, and beaten, he told his people not to fight back. It is believed that his religious belief of not giving up on the hope of going to the mountain top and of overcoming racism was a positive force to many in uniting people of colors.

Dr. King’s message of “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,”  delivered the struggles for freedom and equality for the Afro-Americans. It is linked to the struggles for the same goals of other people around the world. Because it demanded civil rights, economic rights, and the freedom from oppression to not just African Americans.

Today, Dr. King’s dream is still alive, because a lot of us believe that we are gradually overcoming the social justice issues of racism, although, there are some who do not think racism will ever end. You know, if one believes in the Bible as he did, they would understand why he looked to Isaiah 1:11-17 for social justice and I say, if  you believe in the words in the New American Standard Bible, seek Luke 1:37, which reads, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

So, we as a people must continue to work toward the effort of maintaining the faith, and the belief, that God is in the plan of uniting us all, just like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that God will. Look how far we have come since the death of this great man!

Dr. King did not give up on leading the people. He continued to promote non-violence, while protesting for the rights for African Americans. He did not use weapons of any kind! He remained calm, as he visualized what to say in his next speech. Despite all of the hostility, he did not fight back. But just because of the color of his skin and the unity he devised, he was shot and killed by James Earl Ray in 1968, on April 4th.

The fate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is present. The people of today are upholding his dream of being united, being non-violent while thriving for social justice and having a positive behavior. Most people are joining in rallies, protesting and marching with people of all colors, races, ages and creed in support of Black Lives Matter; to stop racist killings and the death of innocent black people like:

Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black Florida teenager who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012, after going to the store to get his little brother a bag of Skittles;

July 6, 2014, Philando Castile, was shot dead by police for no reason at all, when he was just reaching for his wallet and ID;

And just like the death of Terrance Crutcher, a father of four, was heading home from a music appreciation class at Tulsa Community College when his SUV broke down in the middle of the road; a female police shot and killed him with his hands in the air on Friday, September 16, 2016, because she said, “he looked like a bad dude.”

In the Easy to Read Version Bible, Hosea 1:7 states: “But I will show mercy to the nation of Judah. I will save them, but I will not use bows or swords or war horses and soldiers to save them. I will save them by my own power.”  Through my understanding of that verse, it could possibly relate to Dr. King, as he kept himself with a positive behavior and it is believed that he did it well. Because I believe, he believed, that God’s will shall be done through Jesus Christ.

Now, whenever I defend my dream of us all being united and being accepted for whom we are, I promote non-violence, social justice and have a positive behavior. Because I believe, that one does what is within their heart, mind and soul. And that people should want to have unity, while promoting non-violence, believing in social justice and having a positive behavior. Because that is what God likes and that is what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did as a devoted religious follower of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your undivided attention.