Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t have a dream.
I mean no disrespect with that statement, but it’s true.
He had hope.
That distinction is important and one to which I was only recently introduced while coffee potting my way through a research paper for grad school.
Bonny Norton and Farah Kamal write that in his book, Teaching Against the Grain, Roger Simon “draws the distinction between ‘wishes,’ in which there is no possibility for action, and ‘hope,’ in which action becomes central in the fulfillment of desire.”
Dreams are wild fancies and involuntary visions in which, at most, you can only observe yourself participating, but hope is tied to the belief that change is possible—inevitable—through collective and conscious action. To be hopeful is to be expectant… This will happen.
Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t have a dream; he had hope. He took action. It is up to us to ensure that fight against injustice remains a sustainable movement.