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“I have a dream!” Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 17th, 2011

“I have a dream!” Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech from the steps of Lincoln Memorial. (photo: National Park Service)

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

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.

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.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Tonight! CalArts in North Hollywood!

May 14th, 2010

Mountain from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

From FOF Kirsten LePore:

Hi err’body!

You should come out to the CalArts Experimental Animation Showcase if you’re free tonight (Fri May 14th) at 8pm at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Leonard H. Goldenson Theater, 5220 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. It’s free and there will be some cool films, and a nice reception afterwards! My short piece “Mountain” will be screening in the program if you want to see that baby on the big screen.

Hope to see you there!!!

Hello, posters.

April 27th, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010, 7:00-8:30pm
Parnassus Cafe, University of Washington School Of Art

Nathan Sawaya @ Agora Gallery.

March 26th, 2010

Nathan Sawaya opening @ Agora Gallery
Nathan Sawaya is one of those rare artists with a unique vision that has quality and populism wrapped up in one really cool package. I’ve written about his Lego art before (he’s sculpting a Fredbot logo tag for us), so I brought my family over to his art show opening in New York last night (my younger son is a Lego Robotics competitor). It was totally worth it, so if you’re in New York in the next few weeks, drop by the Agora Gallery for a glimpse.

Enjoy our holiday.

January 18th, 2010

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Michigan, March 14, 1968

As the son of a fifth generation American from a small farm town in New York, and a World War II political refugee from Eastern Europe, and I have so thoroughly embedded the hopes of the United States that most of the time I’m unaware of it. But I am completely the result of a special place.

And every once in a while a too rare time comes up, and this Martin Luther King Day, combined with the unspeakable tragedy in Haiti have risen to remind me.

As close readers and friends are well aware I’m from the liberal/progressive side of America, and for many years I often suppressed my consciousness of the great opportunities our people have. Not anymore. When I worked for Ted Turner he wouldn’t close his company on MLK Day, for some unknown reason, and my irritation morphed into a clear, passion for what he represented to all of us. Every since then, I’ve have a growing pride in our country, without at all forsaking my political and policy views. Thank goodness.

I’m rarely so public about my views; we’re in the cartoon business, not advocacy. But today I can’t help myself. While we’re having the day off in America, take a minute for reflection. We’ve got a great deal going, yes?

American Flag

An honor to be with John.

December 8th, 2009

John R. Dilworth @SVA

John R. Dilworth @SVA

It was an honor to spend some time at “ASIFA-East presents An Evening with John Dilworth“. Even more of an honor to be one of the guest speaker, recounting the events leading up to the making of the original short “Courage the Cowardly Dog in The Chicken from Outer Space,” John’s Academy Award nominated film from our Hanna-Barbera incubator “What A Cartoon!

John has been one of the most significant talents we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

I’m sure Michael Sporn, John’s first employer, will have a lot more to say about the evening; he sure was shooting enough pix.

Find more videos like this on Channel Frederator RAW
Courage the Cowardly Dog in The Chicken from Outer Space, by John R. Dilworth

Marv Newland Takes Festivals by Storm

November 9th, 2009

A Letter from Marv Newland

Marv Newland really gets around! Postalolio, the short that Marv produced with Frederator will be screening all over the world over the coming months. If you’re in any of these countries or states, make sure you come out to support this great film.

04 - 08 November 2009
Holland Animated Film Festival

11 - 15 November 2009
15th Cucalorus Film Festival
Wilmington, North Carolina

03 - 06 November 2009
Les Sommets Du Cinéma D’Animation
Montreal, Canada

25 - 29 November 2009
I Castelli Animati

01 - 04 April 2010
11th Dawson City International Short Film Festival
at the Klondike Institute of Art
Dawson City, Yukon, Canada

21 - 27 June 2010
Melbourne International Animation Festival

Congratulations to Marv on gaining entry to these prestigious festivals and best of luck!

A Still from

Shattered lives, a shattered region, a shattered country.

August 29th, 2009

American Flag

One of my earliest posts about Hurricane Katrina shuddered at the probability that we’d be still devastated on 2010 anniversary of the tragedy, and it’s still looking that way. We can’t forget what we allowed to happen to our countrymen. Please donate whatever you can to continue to help them. I know it’s a tough time for everyone, and donations are the last things on our minds. But, it’s the sign of a great people when we can help ourselves and our brethren.

I’ve searched for projects to help that can reflect my own focus. First, it was artists in The Hurricane Poster ProjectThe Tipitina’s Foundation continues to help the musicians that are at the heart of so much of America culture that has spread throughout the globe. And no matter you’re political persuasion you can find donation points that will satisfy your beliefs (just search Hurricane Katrina relief donations, 2009).

Please, do what you can. It doesn’t have to be much. Our fellow citizens deserve our attention and caring.

The Secret of Kells.

July 13th, 2009

Charles K kindly reminds us that our friends at Cartoon Saloon are opening their much anticipated feature film in the US this weekend.  The Secret of Kells premieres at The IFC Center in New York this Saturday. Get your tickets here.

Check out the Secret of Kells Blog by director Tomm Moore with Nora Twomey as his co-Director.

“Join us for a celebration of the life and work of Jaime Diaz”

June 30th, 2009

Jaime Diaz Screening flyer

From Larry Huber and Sylvia Edwards:

Join us for a celebration of the life and work of Jaime Diaz

January 6, 1937 - June 20, 2009

Where: Nickelodeon Gym, Burbank, California
Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Time: 6pm

Apex Cartoon Props & Novelties 1998 (Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Nickelodeon)
Art director/Director

Kameleon Kid 2000 (Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Nickelodeon)
Co-creator with Russ Mooney, Art director, co-Director

Dr. Froyd’s Funny Farm 2008 (Random! Cartoons, Nickelodeon)
Co-creator with Bill Burnett, Art director, Director

Gaucho Pampa 2006 (Jaime Diaz Studios Argentina/GIMC Korea/Animotion Works, Inc.)
Creator, Art director, Director