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MLK: "Loving Your Enemies"

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Natalie Truby

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of MLK: "Loving Your Enemies"

MLK: "Loving Your Enemies"
During the heart of the Civil Rights Movement
Sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama
November 17th, 1957
During the formation of the "Southern Christian Leadership Conference"
King supposedly wrote this sermon while he was in jail
All African-American audience
Many people came to hear King preach
Crowded, upbeat, and very involved audience
King's sermons involved a lot of audience participation, especially towards more meaningful topics
Martin Luther King Jr.
Named after german reformer, Martin Luther
American pastor and civil rights activist
Lived in Alabama
Married to Coretta Scott King
4 kids
Won 1964 Nobel Peace Prize
Assassinated at age 39
Most famous speech: "I Have a Dream..."

Directly addresses the audience: "and it is familiar to you because I've preached it before"
Talks about personal experiences
Strong descriptive words
Had a positive impact on people everywhere, not just african-americans
Still impacts many lives today
Quotes are seen all over
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Literary Devices
To Wrap Things Up...
States 5 ways/reasons to love your enemies
Strong conclusion
Discusses being sick
"The doctor said it would be best for me to stay in bed this morning"
Draws in and directly addresses the audience
Notes that he has preached on this subject before
"It's so basic to me because it is a part of my basic philosophical and theological orientation-the whole idea of love"
1st reason to love your enemies:
"You must begin by analyzing yourself"
It is natural for people to not like you
People wont like you for your gender, race, religion, ethnicity
Just because people do not like you for irrelevant reasons, does not mean that you cannot embrace them with love
2nd reason to love your enemies:
"Discover the element of good in his enemy"

Everyone has flaws
Everyone has good to them
"There is something of a civil war going on within all of our lives"
3rd reason to love your enemies:
"When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it"
There will be a time where you can get back at the person who has caused you the most harm
"You look at every man, and you love him because you know God loves him. And he might be the worst person you've ever seen"
States difference between liking and loving
4th reason to love your enemies:
"Hate distorts the personality of the hater"
Hates takes a toll on people
It is a waste of energy
Hate not only destroys the one hated, but also the one doing the hating
5th and final reason to love your enemies:
"I think that Jesus says 'Love your enemies' because love has within it a redemptive power"
Life is all about forgiveness
Love is the only thing that has the power to automatically change people for the better
Ends strong
Most meaningful part of the speech
To his audience he has automatic

Delivers with confidence
Cites sources of powerful/inspirational leaders: Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln
Structure of speech has strong
Good flow
References to historical events
References to bible
Inspires people through
Strong quotes
Personal experiences
Talks about how the civil rights movement can affect the audience and their prosperity
Allusions: Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Roman empire, politics
Rhyme: "They may not like the way you walk, they may not like the way you talk"
Allegory: "There is a little tree on a little hill..."
Connotation: Words with powerful connotation
Antonyms: "In christ there is no East or West, in him no North or South"
This speech is overall very effective. MLK uses good flow, rhythm, repetition, and rhetorical devices to genuinely express care towards his audience. His style is relatable and his tone is sincere. This speech is powerful in that it has inspired people everywhere, and still does today.
Full transcript