• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. : 'I Have a Dream'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Essay: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. : 'I Have a Dream' Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech to the thousands of African Americans who had marched on Washington, D.C. at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The date of the speech was August 28, 1963, but it is one that will live for generations. Of course his purpose was to convince his audience on several fronts: he sought to persuade the black community to stand up for the rights afforded them under the Constitution, and he also sought to demonstrate to the white community that a "simple" black man could so effectively use powers of persuasion that they too would have reason to join the cause. He stated in his opening sentence that the event at which he spoke would "go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation". His words were indeed true, and they certainly fit the event. The first point that Dr. King made in his speech was that of recalling for all the promise inherent in Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. ...read more.

Middle

It is Dr. King's purpose to call for unity of the people. It is only within this framework that Dr. King can make his next statement and still retain the white portion of his audience. Though ostensibly speaking to the black population, it is the white portion that controls the ability to effect any real changes. Without the allusion to Abraham Lincoln, Dr. King's statement that "the Negro still is not free" would have served to divide the people, rather than unite them in purpose and in truth. Dr. King exercises the strategy of pathos in his statement, "Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all God's children". As he referred earlier to the truth embodied in Abraham Lincoln, so he now references a greater, even more enduring truth: words written in the Bible. ...read more.

Conclusion

The white community has operated in suppress, but Dr. King calls on the black community to provide lessons in how to avoid them. Dr. King also employs the strategy of ethos, defined as a tool communicators use to present themselves as people of good character and valid authority. He said, "I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal". Though Dr. King's black audience would accept his character and authority to speak to them as he did, the white portion of his audience, the larger one that he needed to reach, likely would only see him as a "Negro" who failed to understand the larger picture. Dr. King averts that reaction refering to the Declaration of Independence, symbolic in itself that he should use it for the black portion of the nation's citizens. His character and authority would be lost on the white audience; that of the Declaration of Independence - written through the combined effort of white men - would not. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. Dr Martin Luther King And Sir Abraham Lincoln

    On the other hand Abraham Lincoln's speech is more to the point and shorter sentences I think the meaning of

  2. Why was Martin Luther King both so bitterly criticised, and so deeply mourned by ...

    young as eight or nine years old, as they came out of church to begin a demonstration. Bull Connor apparently enjoyed seeing the 'niggers run' as he put it. King travelled the country making speeches and inspiring people to become involved in the civil rights movement.

  1. The USA 1941 - 80 : The Divided Union.

    (see Section on the US in the Second World War) * By the end of the war in 1945, racism was an everyday experience in the 13 southern states. * Blacks were denied the vote even though many were legally entitled to it.

  2. Martin Luther King Jr.

    King was imaginative, "Dr Martin Luther King had a dream and rose to greatness, nothing happens unless we dream first'." (Alison Morrison 1998: p64) The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was created and it prohibited racial discrimination in public places and called for equal opportunity in employment and education for African Americans.

  1. Martin Luther King.

    to begin a "protest journey" for racial inequality and segregation laws into the South. The freedom rides began in Washington and spread to many Southern American states. Violence broke through: buses had been burnt by the Whites, while the black riders were severly attacked and beaten when they got off the bus.

  2. I have a Dream. Historical Background.

    In my opinion King used the speech to persuade, encourage and inspire rather trying to include an element of argument. I shall now prove this whilst analyising the speech. Paragraph 1 on P 328 from "it came as a joyous - an appalling condition".

  1. "Religion's are notorious for promoting Racial Segregation". Discuss with reference to one specific historical ...

    She did not believe in racial segregation. Christianity inspired her to fight against racial segregation. Her actions led to the Montgomery bus company to accept Integration of races. Bus segregation here was terminated and this was due to the inspiration of Christianity. Martin Luther King once said about her " Nobody can doubt the depth of her Christian commitment and devotion to the teachings of Jesus".

  2. "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal

    They also threatened her by shouting, "Lynch her, no nigger bitch is going to get out of here". She then saw an old lady with a kind face, the lady spat in her face and the look of the national guardsmen told her that she will get no help from them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work