Contextual Analysis of I Have a Dream
Martin Luther King Jr.’s (January 15th, 1929- April 4th, 1968) I Have a Dream is so popular that it always appears among the top 50 of the world’s speeches ever made. As a matter of fact, the 1999 poll of scholars and analyst of public address ranked the speech as the top American speech of the 20th century. The 17 minute public speech was delivered on august 28th, 1963, at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The speech was a culmination of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march had been graced by over 20,000 supporters of civil rights movement. The speech came against the backdrop of racial and institutional discrimination against African Americans, a development that had ensured the exclusion of the African American from accessing social amenities and access to tools of economic empowerment such as education. The dominant idea in the I Have a Dream speech is that of the need to ensure social justice by ensuring that all races are treated as equal as enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence. Nevertheless, there are salient issues that Martin Luther King Jr. sought to address. The need to realize civil and political liberty for all in America remained supreme in the speech.
In respect to the above, Martin Luther King Jr. used allegory, saying that the assemblage that accompanied him had come to the US’ capital to deposit a check, since by writing the benevolent words in the US Constitution and the US Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers of the American nation had signed a promissory note, thereby making the rest of Americans heir. Martin Luther King maintained that the heir comprised all Americans: African Americans, whites, the native Indians and the Hispanics, among others. King observed poignantly that heretofore, America had defaulted the promissory note as far as her citizens of color were concerned. In lieu of honoring its part of bargain, America had given the Negro...
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