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

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

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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 th...


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...ogether.” Dr. King’s logos were “One hundred years later, the Negro still languishes in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.” Even if it took them some time, the change was definitely made. The day of his speech he made a big impact they say he was both self-assertive and sad, and he sent the crowd away feeling that the long journey had been worth waiting for.



Works Cited

1. Carson, Clayborne. ""I Have a Dream" Speech." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011.
2. Luker, Ralph E. "Quoting, merging, and sampling the dream: Martin Luther King and Vernon Johns." Southern Cultures 9.2 (2003): 28+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Sep. 2011.
3. Lischer, Richard The Preacher King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the word that moved America Oxford University Press: 1995. Print

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