MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll meet Spanish flamenco singer Buika. Her interesting personal story and heritage infuse her totally unique sound. We'll hear that later in the program. But first, we want to dig into this country's heritage and the many profound signature moments that have made this country what it is today.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech is surely one of those moments. That speech was delivered 50 years ago this summer. And since we know that so much has changed since then, we've been asking you if you want to give your own "I Have a Dream" speech using the hashtag "my dream." You've already been sending us your wishes and visions for the future, big things and small things for the world and your own life.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: I have a dream...
(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)
TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran, and I have a dream.
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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: As a kindergarten teacher in a Texas public school, my dream is for our country to begin to value our youngest members of society.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Because everyone deserves a beautiful destiny. It's a right by my heart and soul, written in blood by every human being with an admirable heart.
MARTIN: If you need more inspiration, here's a longer clip from the comedian Tehran Von Ghasri. He's Afro-Iranian-American and he posted this on YouTube earlier this year to spark a conversation about stereotypes.
VON GHASRI: I have a dream that I refuse to be boxed in by the boxes on forms they have me check. Climb out through intellect and accomplishment and represent for my people. Not the black race or the white race, but the human race. Just look at my face. I run at my own pace, thank you very much.
MARTIN: So we called Tehran and asked him what got him thinking about all of this.
VON GHASRI: What inspired me to do this piece, the funniest thing is, out of everything that was going on in the world at the time, whether it's the Trayvon Martin case or anything that has to deal with race, it was a piece on ESPN where the ESPN analysts were being so open and honest about race and racial stereotypes regarding players like Jeremy Lin, and how black players are perceived a certain way and white players are perceived a certain way. And they were being so honest that it inspired me to actually write that piece during the commercial break.
People always try to tell me how to be or how to act. They tell me, oh, you should act more black or you should act more Persian, or why don't you talk black or why don't you talk Persian? There is no box. Race is simply a color and tone of skin. It does not define you as a person. You do.
MARTIN: Now of course, he's not the only person with a dream. We'd like to hear from you about anything you feel passionate about. To join in, use the hashtag "my dream" on Twitter and tweet us. You can send us a link to a blog post or even some video or audio of yours telling us about your dream for today. You can also reach us via email, TellMeMore@NPR.org. Please make sure to include your name and information and we might just get you on the air. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.