• 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 ...

    Other black leaders such as Malcolm X thought King relied too much on northern whites, put too much faith in the vote and civil rights, non -violence and integration. The strategy failed to solve the problems of black poverty, diminished black pride values and institutions, left blacks open to white

  1. 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.

  2. Martin Luther King.

    Nevertheless, the freedom riders continued their way "sur la route de la victorie" and did "result of the desegregation of some bus stations...and demonstrated to the American public how far Civil Rights Workers would go to achieve their goals". On the importance of such a passive movement, one freedom rider

  1. I have a Dream. Historical Background.

    King immediatly uses the word "we" to identify himself as just another one of the audience. He shows an understanding of their suffering at the same time as introducing a metaphor by saying " The negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean

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

    Malcom had become "marked" for assassination. He escaped once, but on February 21st 1965, 3 gunmen shot Malcom 15 times at close range. He was 39 years old. 15 Hundred people attended Malcolm's funeral days later, showing the immense support he had. These people were of all faiths and all races.

  1. Some Words on Patience.

    Regarding the Chinese, a great enemy to many Tibetans, his Holiness says, "If I had stayed in Lhasa, and if the Chinese invasion had never taken place, I might still be very isolated. I would probably be more conservative than I am now."

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

    * Between 1966 and 1968, there was a huge increase in the number of young Americans taking drugs, reflected in 'rock' music culture of the time. * In the first year of Nixon's Presidency, this culminated in hundreds of thousands of young people attending a massive open air concert at

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