Reflection Paper About the Speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

Topics: African American, Martin Luther King, Jr., Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (590 words) Published: December 5, 2011
Reflection Paper about the speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. I Have a Dream is extremely emotional, a hopeful vision of the future of race in this country. King recognized that the March, with an attending crowd of over 200,000 as well as a national television audience, would be the perfect opportunity to gain support for the civil rights movement. He intended to persuade his audience of the justice of the cause, encourage them to not abandon hope, and warn them that in the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of illegal deeds, declaring his belief that nothing positive is accomplished through violence King. He designed his speech with those goals in mind. King's understanding of the size and composition of his audience determined the rhetorical choices he made while composing his speech. It is important to understand that while hoping to influence the attitudes of an entire nation, King was primarily addressing a black audience. He spoke of generations of injustice, and referring to the recent increase in violence, stressed the importance of remaining non-violent. He warned against an attitude of distrust toward "our white brothers" who "have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom as evidenced by their presence here today." He is obviously speaking directly to black Americans. Because of this focus, King made rhetorical choices he knew would be familiar to a black audience with a shared cultural background. Those choices have proven powerful to people of all races, but they were selected with a black American audience in mind. The reasons for King's rhetorical choices are frequently attributed to their special impact on black Americans, but it should be worried that the effectiveness of these choices crossed all racial boundaries. King knew an emotional speech would have greater impact upon a large, outdoor crowd....
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