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I Have a Dream

By | Feb. 2013
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Running head: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'S SPEECH, "I HAVE A DREAM'

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Speech, "I Have a Dream'
Marsha Spainhour
Sandhills Community College
Public Speaking
Kathleen Kruska
November 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Speech, "I Have a Dream'
The true test of a speech is born of its immediate impact and its long-term value as a rhetorical document. It is a small wonder that only a few speeches transcend their own moment in history and become resonant literature. One such speech is Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Certainly, Martin Luther King’s most famous public address contains many memorable passages that spoke significant truths about the United States at the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, but more importantly, the speech delivers three ideas that still have relevance today. Several primary drivers of inequality existed prior to the Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum and eventually forcing American’s to accept unparalled levels of equality for African Americans. Three such drivers were the pre-existing conditions of segregation, discrimination, and poverty the African Americans endured. In Martin Luther King’s Speech, “I Have a Dream”, he stated, “the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation.” Racial segregation was a system derived from the efforts of white Americans to keep African Americans in a subordinate status by denying them equal access to public facilities and ensuring that blacks lived apart from whites. African Americans were excluded from seats on public transportation and barred their entry, except as servants, from most hotels and restaurants. When allowed into auditoriums and theaters, blacks occupied separate sections and also attended segregated schools. Most churches, too, were segregated. African Americans also suffered through great acts of discrimination. In Martin Luther King’s speech, he states “I have a dream that my four children will one day live...
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