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"I Have a Dream"

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Logan Wilkes

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of "I Have a Dream"

"I Have a Dream"
Martin Luther King Jr.

Background
Rhetorical
Devices
Who was MLK?
1929: Martin Luther King Jr., also known as MLK, was born on January 15.

1954:He became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

He was a member of the executive committee of the NAACP and so became a civil rights activist.

The 1955 bus boycott, which lasted 382 days, was the start of him being a popular Civil Rights Leader.



Speech
MLK delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial on August 28, 1963.

It was given during the March on Washington.

Lasted 17 minutes and 30 seconds

He gave his speech for the Civil Rights movement with the hope that racism and segregation would cease to exist.
Exigence
Constraints
-Since he was speaking on such a massive scale, if he didn't deliver effectively, it could damage support for the civil rights movement on a national scale.

-He was speaking to a secondary audience whose beliefs were set in their hearts that blacks didn't deserve the same freedom as whites.
Primary Audience: A diverse group of whites and blacks crowded around the Lincoln Memorial that came specifically to hear him speak.

Secondary Audience: Most of the nation, those who watched it on television at home; everyone who has watched or listened to it since then.
Repetition
"I have a dream"

"We" and "us" over 30 times throughout the speech to convey a sense of unity as a nation.

"Let freedom ring in" followed by various parts of the country, repeated several times

"We can never be satisfied..."


Quotations and Allusions
References to the Bible
"Free at last..."
"Manacles of segregation"
"Negro spiritual"
Use of "5 score years ago" from the Gettysburg Address
"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" from the Declaration of Independence.
-"This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice."

-"It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity."

-"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred."
Audience
The Civil Rights movement was in full swing.
MLK designed his speech to show widespread support for the civil rights movement.
Civil Rights Act of 1964.
He felt he could make a serious push in the support and show that there is a large following for the Civil Rights cause.
Did you know?
His birth name was Michael King Jr.

Was the youngest man ever to receive Nobel Peace Prize at the time.

Attempted suicide at age 12.

Opportunities
-Audience of 250,000 at the March on Washington
-All three major news stations present
-Was able to reach almost the whole country with one speech
-Was speaking on the largest, most socially present topic at the time, and his words carried great weight
Parallelism/Anaphora
-"I have a dream that..."

-"We will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together…"
Metaphors
Outcome of the speech
Why is it Important Now?
Discussion Questions
1. Did Dr. King successfully convey a sense of unity to the Nation?
2. Regarding context, what stood out the most in his speech?
3. Which devices seemed to make his speech persuasive?
4. How do you think he used his experience as a pastor to help deliver his speech?
5. What do you think worked more for him? Logos, Ethos, Pathos?
Logan Wilkes
Desiree Watkis
Tyler Ortolano

Americans began to pay attention to civil rights more.
Large scale support for MLK's speech came in raved reviews.
"Those to whom MLK was only a name before were able to witness the power of his oratory first hand"

- MLK was a successful orator such that people are inclined to listen to what he had to say.
- In civil right controversies today, quotes from MLK's speech is used.
-MLK showed people the future with his speech, and people continue to use his speech to envision the future.
Full transcript