Throughout history, women have played pivotal roles in shaping some of the most historic moments that define our collective memory. One striking example is the significant contribution of Dr. Prathia Hall to Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. In September 1962, Dr. Hall, a fearless advocate for civil rights, willingly took part in a service commemorating Mount Olive Baptist in Terrell County—a symbol of resilience that had been targeted by the Ku Klux Klan.
This church had served as a crucial hub for voter registration and community gatherings among African Americans. During the service Martin Luther King Jr. and Southern Christian Leadership Conference strategist James Bevel attended, Dr. Hall was slated to deliver a prayer. It was in that moment, as she passionately prayed, that she spontaneously and rhythmically repeated an inspiring phrase that encapsulated her vision for the future—“I have a dream.” According to Bevel, Dr. Hall’s use of this powerful and memorable phrase deeply resonated with King, eventually becoming a fixture in his sermons.
This poignant example underscores the often overlooked but indispensable role that women, like Dr. Hall, have played in shaping the course of history. Their contributions, be they through activism, resilience, or inspiring words, continue to echo through time, reminding us of the profound impact women and mothers have had on the most transformative moments in our shared history.