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Martin Luther King Jr. Assignment

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A speech is never perfect. However, many would agree that one of the most influential and astounding speeches was given on August 28, 1963 under the shadow of Abraham Lincoln's statue in Washington DC. On that day, Martin Luther King Jr., in his speech "I Have a Dream," was able to inspire over 250,000 people to demand the equality that they have much deserved. His speech took the hearts of many and is still celebrated today. An inspirational speech of that magnitude requires a strong speaker. Martin Luther King, Jr. uses speech-writing techniques such as repetition, alliterations, and similes along with strong delivery to make the speech "I Have a Dream" one of the most influential speeches of our time.

There are a number of points discussed in the "I Have a Dream" speech, mostly correlating to the many issues of the ongoing Civil Rights Movement of the time. Some of the main points of the speech include liberation and justice for the Black community, engaging in non-violent demands for equality, and the importance of having hope for a future that enables all Americans, regardless of race or color, to be equal.

Evidence of these main points can easily be identified throughout Martin Luther King's speech, beginning in some of his opening statements. In regards to the point of providing liberty and justice for the Black community, MLK mentions the Emancipation Proclamation and how one of its chief goals was in means to ending slavery. However, MLK notes that over one hundred years later "the Negro is still not free" from the injustice and inequalities bred by hate. MLK uses the metaphor of a promissory note made by the founding fathers of America to " promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." However, MLK explains this metaphor further in detail, explaining how America has defaulted on this promissory note especially in regards to the Black community by returning a check that has been marked by "insufficient funds." MLK liberates the Black community by calling upon the masses to "refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt" by demanding equality. In discussing this point MLK also uses the grammatical technique of alliteration, claiming that "Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice." It is through this technique that MLK is able to push his point across to his audience by using poetic, yet direct, language.

Also included in the main points of MLK's speech is the importance of non-violence in means to providing equality in America. Towards the middle of his speech, MLK stresses the importance of not seeking the gains of equality through wrongful deeds. Furthermore, MLK explains, "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking



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