“We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.”
This excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is painted along the 14th Street side of the Luther Place Memorial Church in Logan Circle. Luther Place, founded in 1873, is DC’s oldest Lutheran Church.
This statement was part of a larger plea from King for the civil rights movement to maintain a commitment to non-violence and unity across racial lines. Here’s the full passage:
“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.”