Behind the Dream: the Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones
On August 28th, 1963 Clarence B. Jones stood some 50 feet behind Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as King delivered what is now know as his “I Have A Dream” speech to over 250,000 people—the largest group ever assembled in the United States. Jones, who served as King’s personal lawyer and political advisor, was instrumental in preparing—and copyrighting—the speech which was to captivate and inspire so many that day, becoming a defining feature of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the most celebrated speech in modern U.S. history.
In his 2011 book, Behind the Dream: the Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation, Jones, featured on the Rachel Maddow Show this week gives his own account of the weeks preceding the march, and the birth of the ideas which would encapsulate the civil rights movement and serve as, according to Jones, “a call to the conscience of America.”