‘I Have a Dream’ Abel version
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of activist, ‘Why can’t you be satisfied with current peace?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Ethiopians are the victim of the unspeakable horrors of censorship. We can never be satisfied as long as our sisters, heavy with the fatigue of Middle East slavery, cannot gain lodging in their own home. We cannot be satisfied as long as a young Ethiopians in exile cannot return and an Ethiopian in Addis Ababa believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like the Nile stream.’
Don’t think we are not unmindful that many of us have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of us have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of us have come from areas where your quest—quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Gondar, go back to Axum, go back to South Jimma , go back to Hawassa , go back to Adama, go back to the slums and ghettos of Addis, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not ride in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Ethiopian 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 we were a place of great civilization.’