Why Was I Have a Dream Speech Important?
On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 civil rights demonstrators marched to Washington D.C to support the Civil Rights Act movement. This was called the March on Washington. Marchers traveled across the United States to be a part of the nation’s greatest civil rights demonstration.
Many people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to call for fair treatment and equal opportunity for African American. During this movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave an unforgettable speech, a 17 minute long, I Have a Dream speech. I Have a Dream speech outlined the goals of the movement to stop segregation. He fought for equality not just for himself but for everybody. He wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in regardless of the risks. The purpose of the speech is to emphasize the racism that was alive in the country, persuade individuals to fight for equality and promote justice. Throughout the speech, evidence of logos, ethos, and pathos are used to inspire the audience.
In his I Have a Dream speech, Martin Luther King Jr. uses logos to persuade the audience using reasoning to make his ideas more logical. From his quote, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, Dr. King is stating that men are created to be equal and that is a reasonable thing to say since no man is created higher or better than another so why were African-Americans treated as different.
The presence of ethos can be seen through his background and accreditations. After high school, he followed his father’s footsteps and served as a minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1948. During this year, Martin Luther King went to Morehouse College and received BA in sociology. He also attended the Crozer Theological Seminary and graduate with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. In 1954, King became the pastor of the Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. He continued with his education and earned his Ph.D. at Boston University in 1955. At this time, King was involved in many protests such as the Montgomery bus boycott, the Birmingham Campaign and more. He was one of the founders of Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Almost his whole adult life, he been fighting racism and segregation. Dr. King was a Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He not only served as a leader but also fought to show the country what he believed was right–equal rights for all. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word, Dr. King faced much backlash and even threats but continued to sacrifice his safety to fight for basic human rights that everyone deserved.
Lastly, he uses pathos to convince and inspire many people to go out and take action for the future and their family. In his speech, he says, I have a dream that my four little 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. He talked about his children to make the audience think about their children and their future. To get the audience’s attention and to establish an emotional connection, he talks about his family and his dreams. Throughout his speech, he described his dreams of freedom from discrimination and create a vision of how life should be.
I Have a Dream was important speech in many ways. The speech championing the freedom and equality for black people and oppressed people everywhere. He used pathos, logos, and ethos to convince the audience that everyone could benefit from the same rights regardless of the color of their skin. His message of equality, hope, and kindness is spread throughout the nation. Even though he is gone, his courageous leadership, strong morals, and achievements led to the most significant change in US society and culture.
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