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The Content Of The Speech "I Have A Dream"

1228 words - 5 pages


This speech “I have a dream” , which bears no introduction, was one of the many delivered gracefully by the renouned Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin L. King. It would go down in history as one of the greatest moments in the struggle for equality and freedom of the black nation. The contents of the speech which I will later discuss set the scene and give us an insight to the true struggles and dedication made by the Civil Rights march to get to this point.


For centuries the principles in which America was founded fell short for those of a skin colour other than white. After the Civil War black Americans where granted free from slavery, something that had been ...view middle of the document...

King, today known as one of the “worlds advocates” of non-violent social developments, was a well educated man but rejected offers for academic positions and decided he would return to the south where he would become pastorate of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He became a well known figure in the efforts of improving the lives of African Americans.

King soon gained national prominence as a result of his exceptional oratorical skills and courageous outlook on how life. However, his bravery was tested on several occasions, one being the bombing of his house. King was also arrested along with other boycott leaders on charges of conspiring to interfere with the bus companys operations. Despite attempts of oppression the Montgomery buses were desegregated in December 1956, one year since Rosa Parks was arrested.

In 1957, King became president of the Southern Christian leadership Conference (SCLC). He emphasized the goal of black voting rights when he spoke at the Lincoln Memorial during the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. His trip to India developed his understanding of Gandhian non-violent strategies,and at the end of 1959, he resigned from Dexter and returned to Atlanta where the SCLC headquarters was situtated and where he could assist his father as pastor.

Although potrayed as the “pre-eminent black spokesman”, King did not mobilize mass protest activity during the first five years after the boycott ended. Southern black college students took the initiative launching a wave of sit-in protests during the winter and spring of 1960. Conflicts between King and younger militants were also evident when both SCLC and SNCC assissted the Albany Movements campaign of mass protests during December of 1961 and the summer of 1962.

In the spring of 1963, he and his staff leaded mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, where local police had a developed a reputation for anti-black attitudes. In June, President Kennedy reacted to the demonstrations and agreed to submit broad civil rigths legislation to Congress which would eventually pass the Civil Rights act og 1964. Subsequent demonstrations culminated in a march on August 28, 1963, that attracted more than 250,000 protestors to Washington, D.C where King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.

This speech was very well constructed and early on in the speech King showed its importance stating, “ I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the hostory of our nation”. King uses perfect structure, organisation and tone, as well as persuasive terms appealing to the character of the speaker, the “emotion and logic or reasoning of the context”. The structure in the speech begins with the introduction of Abrahams Emancipation Proclamation, then follows with how the African American are enslaved and concludes with his...

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