There Was a Time When…

Interviewer: Mr Brando, have you been on this road for a long time?

Brando: I don’t know. There was a time when nobody was on the road. Really. There was a time when Rosa Parks stood up in a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and from that date the Montgomery bus boycott took place. And somewhere in the fifties, eighteen Negros in a Georgia prison camp broke their legs with sledge hammers to bring attention to the conditions that they were in. And slowly, bit by bit, I became involved in this issue. And I guess my springboard was listening to Martin Luther King speak about the woe and distress in California…

There was a time when… There will be a time when…

There was a time when black people were slaves in America.
There was a time when America went to war over slavery.
There was a time when segregation and discrimination persisted.
There was a time when Martin Luther King was alive and he spoke about civil rights and human rights.
There was a time when things looked bad.
There was a time when victory suddenly seemed possible.
There was a time when America elected its first black President.

There will be a time when everybody will be free.

Was there a time when black people were slaves in your country?

Learn more about Marlon Brando in:
The Story of an American Actor

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30 Responses to “There Was a Time When…”

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  1. raquel says:

    In my country there are not indigenous people. There was a time when there were upper and lower classes. There was a time when things looked bad. The differences between both were enormous. Today, people in my country belong to middle class. However, there are also a lot of poor people. Nowadays, there are coming lots of refugees who are escaping from war. Children, women and men are on the road, looking for a better place to live. These people have the same civil and human rights like everybody. We should help people. As citizen I must do anything to avoid suffering of these people. Everybody should have access to fundamental services, such as food, education, food and work. There will be a time when everybody will be free.

  2. mohamed eltahir says:

    The human being threw out those era people in each point in this earth deserve to be free and equal .
    there was atime people was slavery some of them could ride of and some of them on ogoing of this illusions , no way to keep going in this truck ,ihave massege to all people over the world to share us and protect us . from contagion of discrimination and segregation .
    we are all frends and and we are all facing myried challenges hightlight threaten the earth firest change invironment and second nuclear weepon and finally Terrorism.

  3. mohamed eltahir says:

    This is speach remembered me, those time when we were dreaming by domacracy in country . my father told me there will be a time when to see that

  4. shama'a says:

    Hi to everybody , It’s nice lesson and useful for me.
    I wanna alot from that.
    thank you.


  5. Amin says:

    your stories are important and teach us to be honest and kind to other human beings .we must respect to all of people in all over of the world.I want you to put some downloadable lessons both audio and context .thank you very much. Amin from Iran-Bandar Abbas

  6. khunglong says:

    There was a time when I learnt English.
    Thanks so much.

  7. asal says:

    hi , ienjoy your emailing course.they are really awesome.but unfortunatly i can not download your video lessons.

  8. Armine says:

    thanks for this short video,it was interesting to listen to a great actor and hear his thoughts about civil rights.I got interested and started to look up some information more in encyclopedia to remember some facts about racial discrimination

  9. sylia says:

    there was a time when black people were slaves just because of their color skins,it was a hard time to live in but now every thing change to the better where there is freedom .

  10. Margie Wahyu says:

    Discrimination happens everywhere and there are reasons why it happens. First, people have their own thought about their surroundings, about other people and even the environment, the nature. Their knowledge and socialization with their surroundings create negative experiences and feeling. They tend to avoid touching or mingling with them. the second is the surrounding themselves perform such a performance that people with certain knowledge and experience try to be away of them, and as a result they won’t let themselves to be involved in any activity.
    I don’t mean to judge whether it is right or wrong to be involved in this discrimination. We should think over it again. To have the equal right as a human being should also have the responsibility in behaving properly as civilized people. therefore to avoid discrimination, people should aware and respect other people and their environment.

  11. ashley says:

    thank you for sharing with me about these things. I live in VietNam, a democratic and independent country. we help each other, and respect for ech other.

  12. Mangesh says:

    It will really help us understand the foreign ascents….
    Once again thanks for this viedo….

  13. Raad says:

    Very nice, I love it.

  14. ahm says:

    thanks alot but i could not understand all of the words

  15. FATY says:

    GOD has created us equal and asks us to worship him then the difference comes only at this level it means that if I am praying and do good things for all the mankind i’ll be the best one .
    This is the rule :not black or white the aim is our good manners .

  16. ali says:

    Hi I’d like to Lear English can you help me please and address smile this Finally many thanx

  17. Benjamin says:

    Thanks my friend,
    Excellent topic.
    The was a time when people loved each other.

  18. moneer says:

    In my opinion, I think every individual human has a kind of discrimination or bias with different level,such as,color, Education,communication and religion.
    who have the ability to control this kind of feeling?
    Absolutely, the government by make the right rule and the regulation.I do not want to blame any government. I just want to tell them that, we share the same air and we have the same blood.
    thanks a lot

  19. Reem says:

    many thanks for these vido really it is a greate issus

  20. It is really fantastic and beneficial for us

    really thanks for sharing this

  21. iman says:

    Since the seventh century the Arab world knew human rights. There was no difference between Arab people,negro or any nation. The difference was regarded according to morality. ‘The more you have humanity and morals the more you are respected’.But alas that idea was forgotten during invasions. We are with human rights any one in the world has the right to live a secure life anywhere anytime whatever her/his color is or religion.Everyone has the right to live, think and behave the way he/she likes if it doesn’t bring harm to anybody.

  22. Bakhtiar says:

    Its really good . I really liked it.

  23. ahmed says:

    really thanx for sharing this video cause this makes it so easy about how to understand the american pronunciation….

  24. elena says:

    …the man who wrote these things was a great one…

  25. Eric Roth says:

    Thank you for sharing, in black-and-white footage, that clip of a younger Marlon Brando speaking out for human rights. The American civil rights movement – based on the still contested notion that every individual deserves equal treatment under the law and everyone has a right to vote and decent living conditions – transformed the United States. After a turbulent decade of reform, we moved forward and expanded our laws and Constitution to become a better society.

    Perhaps just as Gandhi influenced Dr. King and Brando, it’s fair to ask as oppressed individuals across the Mideast demonstrate for justice, if there was a time when rulers misruled in your country? Was there a time when a few powerful people treated other people as animals, tools, or slaves? Was there a time when people were prejudged based on group identification? If so, how did that situation change?

    Allow me to make an observation since you are based in Japan and addressing a global audience. It’s become extremely fashionable in many parts of the world to judge America by the highest standards – and find – shock, shock – that we fail to always uphold our ideals. Many other nations are simply given a pass which is how the brutal dictatorship of Libya was awarded the chair of a UN Human Rights Council just last year. Why is that? Is that fair?

    So let’s be quite clear. The United States – from its Declaration of Independence with it’s “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” through defensive wars like World War II and the establishment of the UN and its leadership of the usually ignored UN Declaration of Human Rights- have advanced human freedom in each and every decade. It may be an effective rhetorical technique to focus on the ills of American society 50 years or 150 years ago, but simple honesty requires noting that billions still have no right to vote, fear imprisonment for speaking their mind, and can not legally change their religion of birth. If you want to raise the question of human rights, you have many other worthy targets of criticism than the United States.

    After all, where else could a man born into a racial minority with an exotic name be elected President ? Germany? Japan? The United Kingdom? China? Saudi Arabia?

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Eric. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      You seem, however, to imply that this post criticizes the United States. On the contrary, it *applauds* the progress the U.S. has made. “There was a time when blacks were slaves….there was a time when America elected a black president…” There isn’t a shred of criticism in the post. It attempts to illustrate the progress that CAN be made if people fight for it and speak out against injustice, wherever it may be. “It used to be one way, and now it is different. And there will be a time when everybody will be free.” Nothing could be more positive and optimistic than that. Where is the criticism?

      Perhaps our attempt wasn’t as clear as it could have been? If so, that would be our failure as writers. Respectfully though, I think you should read the post again and reflect on what you are projecting onto its content.

  26. Omar says:

    we look at all people as the same . we don’t make differences based on the shape or colour .

    the bottom line is the behaviour and treatment which will reflect your reputation.


  27. ali ahmed says:

    that is good

  28. laila says:

    there was a time whene i buy this story and read it

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