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An American Sign Language translation of English excerpts taken from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Translation was prepared by MJ Bienvenu, Patrick Graybill, Dennis Cokely and performed by David Hamilton. This is part of the Cokely Parallel Corpus collection. Additional materials are provided here for corpus-based research.
English Source Text
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, 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 captivity. But 100 years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. 100 years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. The dream is 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 desert state withering with the heat of injustice and 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. This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with 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 snow-capped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks 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. 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 the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
American Sign Language, translation, parallel corpus, American political speeches
Language Interpretation and Translation | Linguistics
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Sign Media, Inc. (1994). American freedom speeches (2012 DVD) [Videos containing political speeches and documents translated into American Sign Language]. www.signmedia.com. http://store.signmedia.com/1811.html
Roush, D., & Schilling, A. (2021). The Dennis Cokely American freedom speeches parallel corpus (1.0) [Dataset]. Eastern Kentucky University Libraries. http://encompass.eku.edu/cokely/