“I Have a Dream” Response In Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘s speech, “I Have a Dream” (King 2010), he addressed the issue of slavery and how American’s country wide need to stand up for freedom. He began his speech by addressing the issue, which was to that day slavery was still relevant. King brought up the Emancipation Proclamation, and how it was “a great beacon light of hope” for those that experienced slavery, but even after 100 years nothing has changed (King 2010).
He then talked about how white Americans seem to not care about helping the slaves be free, even though the founding fathers said that all men were created equal. Martin Luther King, Jr. said a change needed to happen now, because they had waited long enough. One point he did make is that they wouldn’t stop for anything in order to get what they deserved, but reminded them that violence shouldn’t be used, but instead to do it peacefully. He asked them not to back down, to fight for their rights, and to go and spread the word to their friends, family, and everyone in their towns.
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They needed all the support they could get. King finishes his speech with the famous line “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. ” (King 2010) He made it clear that we needed to open our eyes and realize that skin color means nothing about a person in general. One of the first things that King states in his speech is that without the Emancipation Proclamation, they wouldn’t have been able to assemble that day, so it was thanks to Abraham Lincoln that they were able to do so (King 2010).
Even though it may not have set the African- Americans free, it was a step forward. America had not given them an opportunity to be human, and King was calling them to duty. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, in reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, “This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope… ” King was right for saying this, for if it was thanks to this document that African-Americans could finally look forward to freedom in the future, even though it wasn’t going to be anytime soon (King 2010). I liked how he used this and various other historical documents to help drive his point forward.
It adds heart to his speech and really helps inspire people around him. In the Constitution it states that all men would be guaranteed unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How American’s seemed to think this didn’t apply to African-American’s baffled King. He felt like the founding father’s intentions were to make every single human being in the United States free; yet somehow, Americans had let it slip. I feel like King made a very good point in saying this. There was no fine print saying “For white people only” so how could they have misconstrued such a blatant statement.
I personally think it was very ignorant for white Americans back then to think that it was write to do so. I never understood how people could misconstrue the constitution so badly. Martin Luther King, Jr. finished his speech by saying that he had a dream that one day everyone would be equal (King 2010). He was asking everyone to stand up for their rights, and for white people to step up and help them. He also said that to do so, they must use peaceful methods, like they were that day, instead of instituting violence, because it would get them nowhere.
He didn’t want his kids, or any of America’s black youth to face the horrors that their families had for generations. If people didn’t stand up then nothing was going to happen, and King made this apparent. I personally feel like King couldn’t have put it better. Violence doesn’t help with anything, so if they were going to do it they had to do it peacefully. King’s speech was very inspirational and made a lot of people realize the urgency of the issue. I think that this speech was a very effective piece and was definitely just what they need to get things rolling.
He really uses his people skills and ability to persuade others to get to the hearts of Americans. I don’t feel like there are any weaknesses in the speech; it was a very strong piece of history that hit home with a lot of people. It couldn’t have been done any other way, and today we have Martin Luther King, Jr. to thank for what our country has become, which is, a country of equality and freedom. References King, Martin Luther, Jr. “The I Have a Dream Speech. ” U. S. Constitution Online. N. p. , 3 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://www. usconstitution. net/ dream. html>.