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 today, 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 their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. 100 years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. 100 years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. 100 years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
然而,100年后的今天,我们必须正视黑人还没有得到自由这一悲惨的事 实:100年后的今天,在种族隔离的镣铐和种族歧视的枷锁下,黑人备受压榨;100年后的今天,黑人仍生活在物质充裕的海洋在一个贫困的孤岛上;100年后的今天,黑人仍旧在美国社会的一隅受苦受难,并且发现自己竟然是自己所在国土上的流亡者。今天我们在这里集会,就是要把这骇人听闻的情况公之于众。

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
但是我们决不相信,正义的银行已经破产;我们决不相信,在这个国家存储给予的巨大金库里竟然没有足够的储备。因此,今天我们要求兑现支票,这张支票将给予我们宝贵的自由和正义的保障。我们来到这块圣地也是为了提醒美国,现在是非常急迫的时刻。现在绝非侈谈冷静下来或服用渐进主义的镇静剂的时刻。现在是实践民主诺言的时候。现在是从黑暗荒凉的种族隔离的深渊中崛起,向阳光普照的种族平等的道路上奋进的时刻。现在是把我们的国家从种族不平等的流沙中拯救出来,置于兄弟情谊的磐石 之上的时候。现在是让上帝所有的儿女开放机会之门的时刻。

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.1963 is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.