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Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech

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Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 6 November I Have a Dream Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech on 28 August 1963 during the historical March to Washington. It was a march that brought people together from all walks of life. The crowd consisted of about 75% black people and rest were white or from minority communities in the U.S. It was a speech that changed the world for good. Throughout the history of mankind there are few speeches that have created special place in the hearts and minds of ordinary people. This speech is one of them. It is easy to instigate people and provocate them against the government. But that is not what was desired by Martin Luther King. The purpose of the speech was to demand equality and justice for African Americans. What makes the speech remarkable is its content and the passion with which it was delivered.
Before the success of American Civil Rights Movement the condition of blacks in America was deplorable. They didn’t have equal rights and were discriminated against because of the color of their skin. The whole movement was triggered by small resistances such as that of Rosa Parks. On 1st December 1955, she refused to give up her seat for a white man. As a consequence of her refusal action was taken against her and she lost her job. This incident created a furor in the black community.
Martin Luther King was a great admirer of non-violence. He was greatly inspired by Gandhi and wanted to campaign for his people’s rights in a non-violent manner. He indeed visited India in 1959 and was impressed by the way Indians had fought for Independence with non-violent methods (Ramdin, 2004).
After the speech, Martin Luther King cemented his position has one of the greatest political orators of all time. It is a lesser known fact that much of the speech was an improvisation. There was an original speech and it was present right before him on the podium. But after sensing the mood and sentiments of the people and on encouragement from Mahalia Jackson, Martin Luther King decided to touch their hearts. He spoke from his heart about the pain of African Americans and how they felt under the oppressive laws. He spoke about his dream of seeing black and white people living together in harmony. The dream stretched far beyond the present times and touched the future generations as he dreamed about black and white kids playing together and going to school together.
Many experts believe that after this speech Martin Luther King became the most powerful person in America at that time. He was the founder of Southern Christian Leadership Council so what he said also came from a religious perspective. He was a devout Christian and an admirer of Gandhi. His call for non-violence was based on the Gandhian principles. The results he achieved were no less spectacular than any stalwart politician would have achieved.
The result of the speech was that various laws were passed giving rights to the black people. There were many milestones achieved such as Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Immigration and Nationality Services of 1965 and Fair Housing Act of 1968. All these successes were found by the marvelous efforts made by civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King and many people believe that the one of the reasons of that success is the beautiful ‘I have a dream’ speech.
Works Cited –
Ramdin, R. Martin Luther King Jr: Life &amp. Times. New York: Haus Publishing, 2004. Print.