When we let freedom 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 that old Negro spiritual, Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Who then is free? The one who wisely is lord of themselves, who neither poverty, death or captivity terrify, who is strong to resist his appetites and shun honors, and is complete in themselves smooth and round like a globe.
When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
It is my right to be uncommon. For I do not choose to be a common man, If I can, I seek opportunity. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the government look after me. I choose to take the calculated risk, to dream, to build, to fail or succeed. I choose not to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to a guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment to the state calm of Utopia. I will not trade my freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.