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I have a Dream. Historical Background.

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I have a Dream. Historical Background. I shall begin this essay by writing of some of King's achievements. I shall also include some of the events in the fight for freedom while he was alive. I have used resources from books and the Internet although I have not taken any direct quotes. Born on the 15.01.29. King became one of the most famous non-violent protestors for social change. He was the grandson of the Rev A.D Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church; he also founded the NAACP chapter. It was at this church that Kings roots lay. Eventually he left to attend Morehouse College, Atlanta. After this he went to Crozer theological seminary, Pennsylvania and Boston University. Here he studied non-violent forms of strategy for social change. In 1953 he married Coretta Scott and in '54 he accepted a pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. In '55 he receives Ph.D in systematic theology. On the 05.12.55 a black women named Rosa Parks refused to give way to some white people on a bus. This caused a major bus boycott by blacks. King was elected president of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association. This boycott stretched into '56 giving King national recognition. In the spring of '63 King and the SCLC lead mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. This was caused by white officials reputation for brutality towards black people. Clashes between unarmed African American demonstrators and police with dogs and fire hoses brought world wide headlines. ...read more.


"In a sense we have come to our nations capital to cash a cheque." He spends some time talking about the declaration of independence and then continues the metaphor. "It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of colour are concerned. Instead of honouring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe (repetition) that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check - a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice." This means he thinks that America has not lived up to its promise as far as African Americans are concerned. However at the same time he refuses to believe that freedom and justice cannot be obtained, that this bad cheque as he calls it cannot be cashed. He continues to interact with the audience using we. He also emphasises the importance of acting now and that this is not the time to rest. He uses (the fierce urgency of now.) He is backed up by (Pirkel avot 1:150.) he says, Hillel: If I am not for myself who will be for me? If I am myself alone what am I? If not now when? The important part of this quote is highlighted. ...read more.


dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the suns of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood." In the last section of the I have dream section he says, " the rough places will be made plains, and the crooked place will be made low. He may of got this from a religous quote. (Issaiah 40:4) says, "Let the rugged be made level and the ridges become plain" he also says "this is referring to the evil" in everyone. Paragraph 9 - 10 on page 331 from this is our hope - sing with new meaning. Here King follows up the dream by talking about the power of faith. He uses the words faith and hope so much in fact that they end up making up 6% of the words in the paragraph. He talks about how faith will take them through the suffering they will endure whilst trying to obtain freedom. Paragraphs 11 12 13 on page 331 to 332 from And If America - We are free at last In this closing section of the speech King talks about freedom ringing from every place in America (In fact he once more uses repetition In short phrases not unlike in paragraph 3 this time he says let freedom ring 7 times) he then goes onto talk about America finally being a great country when this is acheived to end the speech on a high. ...read more.

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