Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

1140 words - 5 pages

After 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln gave African American slaves their freedom in society they were still not treated as equals. In August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C Martin Luther King Jr. gave the speech “I Have a Dream” that impacted the nation. The twenty-six-year-old pastor of the city's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church had to show the grievances of his people, justify their refusal to ride on Montgomery's city busses, and encourage them in peaceful way. In the “I have a dream” speech given by Dr. King he uses persuasive appeals to fight for the civil right movements in the most civilized way. To do this he had to convince African Americans that his way of going with things was in their best interests, and he had to convince white Americans that his vision was not going to change their heritage and in their best interests as well.
Martin Luther King’s Jr. plan’s before he started with the civil right movement was to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a preacher. Then he started seeing all the mistreatment that was surrounding him and felt he had to stand up for his people. He was still preaching but he was also involved in the movement. So the day came when there was a big protest and saw it as the best moment to stand and speak out about the issue of segregation.
He starts of his speech by showing how the Emancipation of Proclamation was supposed to free them but didn’t. King says, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation of Proclamation.” He then shows how the African Americans feel after this whole time of when they supposedly had their freedom. Dr. King shares, “One hundred years later, the Negro still languishes in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.” He begins to demonstrate the emotional path African Americans are facing. Dr. Kings says, “It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” King then explains his goals and the solutions to this problem, “There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.” Then he expresses what he wants for this country, “I have a 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 all man are created equal.” He finishes it up by showing how God would love for all his children to be able to live together in peace and harmony. “And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
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