My second grader asked me what this passage means:
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.
It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.
I rephrased it for him, in plain language a second grader can understand:
A long time ago, a great American president made a law that said black people could be free.
The law said black people could be free from being slaves.
But one hundred years later, black people are still not free.