Tag Archives: civil rights

Drew Hansen shares knowledge of King’s ‘Dream’ speech

UPDATE: Apparently Hansen wasn’t done yet. Here’s his op-ed published Tuesday in the New York Times. 

Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s transcendent “I Have a Dream” speech.

As the occasion approaches, media outlets across the country are striving to place the historic day in context. For help, some are turning to islander and state legislator Drew Hansen.


Few people are as intimately familiar with King’s speech as Hansen. The Bainbridge lawyer and 23rd  District representative is also author of “The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech that Inspired a Nation,” a study of the meaning, context and legacy of the famous oration.

“The Dream” was published by Harper Collins in 2003 coincide 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. Hansen became a popular guest speaker after the book’s release, giving numerous talks on King and the speech over the last decade. As the 50-year anniversary of the march approaches, he is once again sharing his insights.

In a USA Today story published earlier this month, Hansen noted the “Dream” speech slid toward obscurity in the years after it was delivered. The speech returned to prominence only after King’s death in 1968, and became – “one of those things we look to when we want to know what America means,” Hansen told the paper. Continue reading

Bainbridge High School to host civil rights speakers

A lifelong friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. will be among a group of speakers visiting Bainbridge High School this week, as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaches.

Rev. McKinney

Rev. Samuel Berry McKinney and four other guest speakers will reflect on the legacy of King and the civil rights movement at the high school Wednesday. A public presentation will be held at 7 p.m. in the LGI building as part of the “Carrying on the Dream” program.

McKinney attended Morehouse College with King in the 1940s and they remained close. McKinney supported civil rights protests in Seattle in the 1960s as a pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church. He organized King’s visit to the city in 1961 and later joined King for marches in Selma and Montgomery, Ala.

Appearing with McKinney on Bainbridge will be Patricia Moncure Thomas, president of the Black Historical Society of Kitsap County; state Rep. Drew Hansen, author of “The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation;” Dr. Rosie Rimando Chareunsap, a 1995 BHS graduate and vice president at South Seattle Community College; and Ali Saunders, a BHS senior and president of the school’s United Brothers & Sisters Club.

McKinney and Hansen will visit with Bainbridge classes during the day. The evening presentation is free and donations are accepted.

The public program was organized by the Sing Out Kitsap committee in cooperation with the school district; the Bainbridge Island Schools Foundation; UBS club; the district’s Multicultural Advisory Committeeand the Filipino American Community