President Obama's Speech on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington 46 words

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. 's " I have a dream" speech, President Obama spoke about the progress made by African-Americans since 1963 and how far we all still have to go as a nation to achieve racial equality and equality of economic opportunity. Drawn from Obama Commemorates King’s ‘Dream’ Speech<\a> The New York Times, August 28, 2013
  1. evident
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  2. endowed
    provided or supplied or equipped with (especially as by inheritance or nature)
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  3. unalienable
    incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  4. emancipation
    freeing someone from the control of another; especially a parent's relinquishing authority and control over a minor child
    In 1963, almost 200 years after those words were set to paper, a full century after a great war was fought and emancipation proclaimed, that promise, those truths remained unmet.
  5. proclaim
    declare formally; declare someone to be something; of titles
    In 1963, almost 200 years after those words were set to paper, a full century after a great war was fought and emancipation proclaimed, that promise, those truths remained unmet.
  6. subjugation
    forced submission to control by others
    And so they came by the thousands, from every corner of our country -- men and women, young and old, blacks who longed for freedom and whites who could no longer accept freedom for themselves while witnessing the subjugation of others.
  7. porter
    a person employed to carry luggage and supplies
    They were seamstresses, and steelworkers, and students, and teachers, maids and pullman porters.
  8. redress
    make reparations or amends for
    And then, on a hot summer day, they assembled here, in our nation’s capital, under the shadow of the great emancipator, to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress and to awaken America’s long-slumbering conscience.
  9. slumber
    be asleep
    And then, on a hot summer day, they assembled here, in our nation’s capital, under the shadow of the great emancipator, to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress and to awaken America’s long- slumbering conscience.
  10. oratory
    addressing an audience formally (usually a long and rhetorical address and often pompous)
    We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions, how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike.
  11. prophecy
    a prediction uttered under divine inspiration
    His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.
  12. segregated
    separated or isolated from others or a main group
    Many had gone to segregated schools and sat at segregated lunch counters, had lived in towns where they couldn’t vote, in cities where their votes didn’t matter.
  13. indignity
    an affront to one's dignity or self-esteem
    A lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that God grants us.
  14. grace
    elegance and beauty of movement or expression
    A lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that God grants us.
  15. persistence
    the act of persisting or persevering; continuing or repeating behavior
    They had learned through hard experience what Frederick Douglas once taught: that freedom is not given; it must be won through struggle and discipline, persistence and faith.
  16. carnage
    the savage and excessive killing of many people
    That was the spirit that they carried with them like a torch back to their cities and their neighborhoods, that steady flame of conscience and courage that would sustain them through the campaigns to come, through boycotts and voter registration drives and smaller marches, far from the spotlight, through the loss of four little girls in Birmingham, the carnage of Edmund Pettus Bridge and the agony of Dallas, California, Memphis.
  17. scourge
    something causing misery or death
    And the entire world drew strength from that example, whether it be young people who watched from the other side of an Iron Curtain and would eventually tear down that wall, or the young people inside South Africa who would eventually end the scourge of apartheid.
  18. apartheid
    a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against people who are not Whites; the former official policy in South Africa
    And the entire world drew strength from that example, whether it be young people who watched from the other side of an Iron Curtain and would eventually tear down that wall, or the young people inside South Africa who would eventually end the scourge of apartheid.
  19. wrought
    shaped to fit by or as if by altering the contours of a pliable mass (as by work or effort)
    That is the transformation that they wrought with each step of their well-worn shoes.
  20. holocaust
    an act of mass destruction and loss of life (especially in war or by fire)
    That’s the depth that I and millions of Americans owe those maids, those laborers, those porters, those secretaries -- folks who could have run a company, maybe, if they had ever had a chance; those white students who put themselves in harm’s way even though they didn’t have to -- (applause) -- those Japanese- Americans who recalled their own interment, those Jewish Americans who had survived the Holocaust, people who could have given up and given in but kept on keeping on, knowing that weeping
  21. magnitude
    the property of relative size or extent (whether large or small)
    To dismiss the magnitude of this progress, to suggest, as some sometimes do, that little has changed -- that dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years.
  22. complacency
    the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself
    To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency.
  23. plentiful
    existing in great number or quantity
    People of good will, regardless of party, are too plentiful for those with ill will to change history’s currents.
  24. eradication
    the complete destruction of every trace of something
    In some ways, though, the securing of civil rights, voting rights, the eradication of legalized discrimination -- the very significance of these victories may have obscured a second goal of the march, for the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were not there in search of some abstract idea.
  25. oppression
    the act of subjugating by cruelty
    They were there seeking jobs as well as justice -- (applause) -- not just the absence of oppression but the presence of economic opportunity.
  26. integrated
    formed or united into a whole
    For what does it profit a man, Dr. King would ask, to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can’t afford the meal?
  27. toil
    work hard
    And it’s along this second dimension of economic opportunity, the chance through honest toil to advance one’s station in life, that the goals of 50 years ago have fallen most short.
  28. eroded
    worn away as by water or ice or wind
    As President Clinton indicated, the position of all working Americans, regardless of color, has eroded, making the dream Dr. King described even more elusive.
  29. stagnate
    be idle; exist in a changeless situation
    For over a decade, working Americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnate.
  30. hamlet
    a community of people smaller than a village
    In too many communities across this country in cities and suburbs and rural hamlets, the shadow of poverty casts a pall over our youth, their lives a fortress of substandard schools and diminished prospects, inadequate health care and perennial violence.
  31. perennial
    lasting three seasons or more
    In too many communities across this country in cities and suburbs and rural hamlets, the shadow of poverty casts a pall over our youth, their lives a fortress of substandard schools and diminished prospects, inadequate health care and perennial violence.
  32. entrenched
    dug in
    Entrenched interests -- those who benefit from an unjust status quo resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal, marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it just to fund crumbling schools -- that all these things violated sound economic principles.
  33. status quo
    the existing state of affairs
    Entrenched interests -- those who benefit from an unjust status quo resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal, marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it just to fund crumbling schools -- that all these things violated sound economic principles.
  34. bureaucrat
    an official of a bureaucracy
    And then there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing their best to convince middle-class Americans of a great untruth, that government was somehow itself to blame for their growing economic insecurity -- that distant bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit the welfare cheat or the illegal immigrant.
  35. grievance
    a complaint about a (real or imaginary) wrong that causes resentment and is grounds for action
    Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse- making for criminal behavior.
  36. recrimination
    mutual accusations
    Racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination.
  37. agency
    the state of being in action or exerting power
    And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself.
  38. ember
    a hot fragment of wood or coal that is left from a fire and is glowing or smoldering
    We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago.
  39. empathy
    understanding and entering into another's feelings
    We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago.
  40. coalition
    the union of diverse things into one body or form or group; the growing together of parts
    We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago.
  41. dignified
    having or expressing dignity; especially formality or stateliness in bearing or appearance
    I see it when the black youth thinks of his own grandfather in the dignified steps of an elderly white man.
  42. bleak
    offering little or no hope
    With that courage, we can feed the hungry and house the homeless and transform bleak wastelands of poverty into fields of commerce and promise.
  43. unconstrained
    free from constraint
    There’s a reason why so many who marched that day and in the days to come were young, for the young are unconstrained by habits of fear, unconstrained by the conventions of what is.
  44. fierce
    marked by extreme and violent energy
    We might not face the same dangers as 1963, but the fierce urgency of now remains.
  45. vindicate
    show to be right by providing justification or proof
    And when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace, and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  46. indivisible
    impossible of undergoing division
    And when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace, and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.