Martin Luther King Jr. Day: How to Watch the Entire 'I Have a Dream' Speech

This Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day — a federal holiday in the U.S. meant to honor the civil rights leader for whom it is named. King's most famous speech was his "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on Aug. 28, 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington D.C. for Jobs and Freedom. The full 17-minute speech is available to watch for free on YouTube.

King's speech can be found in its entirety on YouTube, and is being shared widely on social media this week. The text of the speech is also published in The Words of Martin Luther King Jr., a book by King's daughter, Coretta Scott King, released in 2008. For those interested in revisiting the man's work on MLK Day, it is one of the most central pieces, and one of the most well-known.

"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream," King said. "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

King's friend and fellow activist Clarence Jones revealed in 2013 that at least part of that famous speech was improvised. In an interview with The Wrap, he said that Kin set aside his written remarks when their friend, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, shouted: "Tell them about the dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!"


"When Mahalia shouted to him, I was standing about 50-feet behind him... and I saw it happening in real-time," Jones recalled. "He just took the text of his speech and moved it to the left side of the lectern... And I said to somebody standing next to me: 'These people don't know it, but they're about to go to church.' I said that because I could see his body language change from the rear. Where he had been reading, like giving a lecture, but then going into his Baptist preacher mode."

For more in-depth looks at King, the civil rights movement and its connection to the Black Lives Matter movement today, many streaming services are promoting documentaries and movies about King as well. That includes the brand new documentary MLK/FBI, released just this weekend on Amazon Prime Video. It explores the FBI's constant investigations into King during his fight for his dream.