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Martin Luther King Jr.

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Dream. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. A dream of freedom, of complete brother hood, the true American dream, the dream of full equality. King was one of history's most influential leaders of racial justice. King organized marches, speeches, and much more to motivate the Africans of America to fight for their rights. His political philosophy and strong beliefs helped lead our nation to the racial justice we have today.


King speaks of the American dream in almost every speech. This American dream is a dream of total equality, a society in which whites and blacks could live side by side, work together, fight together, and attend school together. His most famous speech was the speech about this dream. The "I Have a Dream" speech was given on August 28, 1963 by the Lincoln memorial. (217 Dream) The entire nation came to plea for justice and freedom. Both black and white men and women gathered here on this day to hear Kings plea. To start this speech King refers to the "founding fathers" and their plea for freedom.

"But one hundred yeas later, the Negro still is not free; one hundred yeas later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination; one hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity; one hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land" (217 Dream)

King makes this statement with such power; he shows that yes, America did get its freedom, yet it has taken away the freedom from a certain race. On this day they have gathered at the nation's capitol to gain their rights. King compares this demonstration as coming to cash a check. The check of freedom is well due. (217 Dream) When the great leaders wrote the constitution and the declaration of independence they were signing a promise, a promise to freedom. Blacks have not yet received right. In a sense their check has been returned, marked insufficient funds. (217 Dream) King refused to believe this, he knows that the nation can "cash" their check, he knows that they can give them their rights and freedoms. They are here to demand their rights, and there is no better time, and the Negro can wait no longer. (218 Dream) This time is urgent, for if freedom is not given soon the Negro will be come violent. This is the time to become all brothers in this nation. (218 Dream) King believes that if this nation does not grant these rights to the Negro's it will be fatal. This will not pass and this is not man just "blowing off smoke". This is the time for freedom and it must happen now. (218 Dream)

King states that this year is not an end but it is a beginning. It's the time that there is a rude awakening. There will be no rest until the rights are granted to these Negroes. (218 Dream) King's words here show the truth and power that his people believe in. He is showing the nation that there is no time like the present to fix what is wrong. He reminds his people that they must not feel guilty for what they are doing, for it is not wrong. They are only seeking their rights and their freedom. King speaks of how whites and blacks can work together to help this nation. He uses the United States Army as an example. If we want to be powerful, we must unite together in a biracial army. "We can not walk alone" (218 Dream) King believes that there is no where to go but ahead, and that the march must every go forth. They have come this far and they can not turn around. King is asked the question "When will you be satisfied?" he answers it by saying

" We can never be satisfied as long as we the Negro is the victim of unspeakable horrors of police brutality." (218 Dream)

Basically he is saying that once the Negro's have the American Dream they will be satisfied. Negro's will never be satisfied as long as they are the ones who are being beaten, the ones living in the ghettos alone, the ones with nothing for their children. (218 Dream) Negro's want their children to have the same rights at white children, they want all men and women to live together in peace and harmony. Most of all they want the right to vote. (218 Dream) To get this they are ready to do anything, they are ready to go to jail, take a hit, or even live in the streets. They are ready to continue to work toward their faith in the American Dream. (219 Dream) He tells his people to go back to their states of residency and know that they have changed their home in someway, simply by attending this demonstration. (291 Dream)

"So I say to you, my friends, that even though we must face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It's a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed-we hold these truths to be self evident that al men are created equal." (219 Dream)

King tells his people that here we sit at the table of brotherhood, ready to be served the plate of rights they've been waiting for. This brotherhood is sweet to them; they are ready for it. (219 Dream) King's belief in America shines through in this speech. In the end he states that his dream will come true. This simple statement once again puts trust and faith in him by his people.

Moving for Freedom

"Our bodies are tired and our feet are somewhat sore, but today as I stand before you and think back over the great march, I can say as Sister Pollard said, a seventy year old Negro woman who lived in this community during the bus boycott and one day she was asked while walking if she wanted a ride and she answered, "No," the person said "Well aren't you tired?" And with her ungrammatical profundity, she said "My feets is tired, but my soul is rested." (227 God).

Thousands of people everyday ask themselves about the question of racism and social injustice. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest leaders in racial equality. (227 God) When King speaks he reaches his entire audience, in a way that motivates without violence. In the excerpt above from the speech "Our God is Marching On!" which was delivered on March 25, 1965, you can see how King uses true life experiences to reach his followers. (227 God) This speech ended a long march which King lead. Thousands of people began this mighty walk to prove to "white" Americans that the "black" American was ready for their well-deserved rights. King explains how all



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