Perhaps you remember that historic day back in August of 2008 when Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party's nomination to run for President of the United States. It was the twenty-eighth day of the month, exactly forty-five years after Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" speech during his March on Washington. The comparisons between the two men proved inevitable, and Obama's campaign, nomination, and victory charged a jaded America with a new sense of hope and vitality.
As I give you a first look at director Shyam Madiraju's very cool (and slightly modified) composite version of Obama recreating Dr. King's speech, it's worth recounting a story a former history teacher told me the day after Obama won our nation's highest office -- a story you've likely heard in some form or another. When he asked a black student what President Obama's accomplishment meant to him, the student responded that, for the first time in his life, he actually believed what had, up until then, been only inspirational rhetoric -- that in America, if he put his mind to it, he could accomplish anything.
Yet in 2010, it's also worth considering whether King's "heat of injustice" has truly been "transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice." For while that young, black student saw the doorway into the halls of opportunity open up before him, consider whether a legal, Latina citizen afraid to leave her home in Arizona would feel the same way. Or whether a Louisiana fisherman watching his livelihood disappear inch by inch under an advancing tide of oil would subscribe to the notion of justice. Or, for that matter, whether the heron caught dying on camera in BP's muck could even begin to make sense of its fate.
I'll leave those questions for you to consider, and to discuss, as you enjoy the video.