Booker brings civil rights activists to their feet: ‘It’s time for us to dream again.’

Posted Apr 5, 2019

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, called on a group of civil rights activists to “dream again” as he brought them to their feet.

Speaking before the annual convention of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in New York City on Friday, Booker invoked slaves dreaming for freedom, women for the right to vote.

“It’s time for my generation," Booker proclaimed. "It’s time for us to dream again. Bold dreams and defiant dreams.

One of a dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls to address the civil rights group, Booker invoked memories of the “I have a dream” speech delivered by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the senator offered a modern litany of hopes for the future.

Booker, D-N.J., has been delivering a message of optimism and hope on the presidential campaign, though not like this.

“It’s time for us to dream again that we can be a nation where everyone has access to health care,” Booker thundered. “It’s time for us to dream again where every child will have a great public education regardless of their zip code. It’s time for us to dream again everyone who works a full-time job will have a living wage for their families.”

Booker delivered his speech a day after the 51st anniversary of King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. He was flanked by two other civil rights leaders, Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, both of whom have run for president and who got up from their seats along with the audience.

The New Jersey senator is one of two African-American senators running for president, and the black vote will play an outsized role in the party primaries, especially in South Carolina, the fourth contest on the calendar.

He finished by quoting from the book of the Hebrew prophet Amos before clasping the hands of Jackson and Sharpton.

“If we join arms again and work together and sacrifice together and dream together, then we will finally be a nation where justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

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