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Martin Luther King Jr's Impact On The Civil Rights Movement

1612 words - 7 pages

Martin Luther King Jr's Impact on the Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech directly contributed to the Civil Rights movement. While delivering his speech at a kairotic moment, King tells us how blacks have been serving an injustice and that they should be treated equally.

Much had transpired before the speech was delivered. As civil rights protests spread throughout the nation, King continued to combine peaceful methods of protest and his theological training to work towards the hope of equal rights for blacks (Kauffeld and Lefrd, 1989). During this time, blacks were not treated equally and were often denied service. King was trying to get the ...view middle of the document...

He spoke on a subject many didn't care to hear about, the deep injustice of segregation. The Kennedy administration had stalled on the issue and even avoided supporting the civil rights demonstration which King spoke of ( 2000). To King, this offered an opportunity to end the delay that the Civil War's promises had made. He knew he wasn't just talking to protestors, but also the Kennedy administration, to white Americans apathetic and unaware of the injustice, and also to segregationists and racists (Rappaport, 2002). In this speech, King planted his place as first among equals in civil rights leadership. "From this first televised mass meeting, an American audience saw and heard the unedited oratory of America's finest preacher, and for the first time, a mass white audience heard the undeniable justice for black demands" (Seattle Times, 4 April 1993). King said "There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship."

Senator Hubert Humphrey said "all this probably hasn't changed any votes on the civil rights bill, but it's a good thing for Washington and the nation of the world." And Senator David Lewis says that the speech exceeds as an emotional oratory. This shows that the speech was good for America and the speech had a lot of emotion, but it according to these Senators, it may not have changed America. Of course they were wrong, because it did change America.

King touched on many issues that influenced the civil rights movement. King with his incomparable speaking talents which he developed as a Baptist Preacher emphasized that the "Negro is still not free." He told of the struggle ahead, the importance of nonviolence while getting his point of what his dream for the future is. The famous "I Have a Dream" passage was actually improvised by King who actually departed from his planned speech midway into it to (2002). He told us that he has a dream that blacks will not be judged by the color of their skin, but on the content of their character, that all men are created equally, where blacks and whites can join hands and walk together as brothers and sisters and where there will be justice and freedom. He says that even though Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that stopped slavery, the colored person is still not free (2000). His logos he is trying to send is that segregation and discrimination still keeps colored Americans from being able to do what a white man can do. He draws sympathy from the audience by saying ?We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "for white only"? which in turn is a step in contributing to the civil rights movement. He uses "we" many times throughout his speech as does the Declaration of Independence. He says "now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice." Throughout Kings speech, he constantly reinforces his...

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