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MLK Speech
Natasha Boahen
WNHS
January 26, 2015

I, Natasha Boahen, come from an African home, though I was born in Brooklyn, New
York. I consider myself African American, so I tend to put myself in the shoes of blacks during
their torture in the mid 20th century:those days where whites were enriched and blacks were
impoverished. Those days where whites were egotistical on behalf of the blacks suffer at the
hands of whites. Those days where blacks never knew what else was coming their way because
of the impulsiveness of the whites.. Those days where there was a world of separation between
blacks and whites with colored drinking fountains, segregated school houses, libraries,
bathrooms, churches,forbidden zones, people dying helplessly,children being beaten until they
are no longer able to breath, and ages younger than 10 being sexually assaulted.

Someone had to stand up for colored people. The blacks needed a leader so they could
march along. There were many leaders such as Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B.
Du Bois. In the awake of these leaders, came a leader we greatly appreciate and will always be
remembered for their stupendous work and that person is Martin Luther King Jr. King, an
African American man born on January 15, 1929 and died April 4, 1968, was a leader of the
African AMerican Civil Rights Movement. A man who fought a great war for the freedom of
blacks and the equality of the world. In 1963, a speech called “I Have A Dream” was said at the
memorial in Washington D.C. by King. He said this speech to a crowd of diversity meaning all
people and not just black folks.The purpose of the speech was to encourage and give people hope

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that one day blacks and whites will fix all conflicts and work together as one. Also for equality of
all people no matter the gender, race or religion. “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.” He wanted the world to know that theres no need for disagreement amongst one
another.

King didn’t start his speech with “I Have A Dream”, which is the most known part of his
speech. His dreams weren't intentionally apart of his speech. Mahalia Jackson, a friend of King
hollered out the crowd “ tell ‘em about the dream” and King abandoned the paper he was
reading of off and talked about his dream. King starts his speech by talking about an image of
nightmare of racial injustice while the second part of his speech briefly talks about the future of a
better dream where there’s no segregation amongst the people. He does this to carry an important
lesson to any leader who wants to inspire their team, family, friends or any audience willing to
listen. His speech is said with boldness, confidence and power. The boldness of his speech comes
from the movements of hand where he raises his hands as of a preacher. The confidence is from
his voice where he clearly says “with this faith.” This means he believes and is sure that there
will be change and transformation injustice. The power is from his self belief that goes beyond
personal source.

Besides King stating about having a dream that changes separation, the most attention
from his speech is grabbed from the beginning of the speech. In the beginning, he talks about the
present and transforms and talks about the future. “Now is the time to rise from the dark and
desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial injustice”. King reaches the audience by

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the metaphoric words “dark and desolate” to “sunlit path” which are opposed to one another.
When you comprend the words “dark” and “sunlit” what comes into your imagination? Well I
see the words as day and night. Typically, night time is when most crimes occur while light is
when every human being is living peacefully. To look towards the religious side, In Acts 26:18,
the bible says: to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from dominion
of Satan to God. Though people may not believe in God and Satan, God is known as the Father
of nature, the beginning and the end, and the Alpha and Omega who does great works. While
Satan on the other hand, is known as the devil of nature who does evil deeds. King is trying to
uplift his audience that though they may think that they will forever stay in darkness, hes
bringing them into that light. He’s saying just walk into it and you may be free. His purpose isn’t
to bring people into his Civil Rights Movement, its more to wake them up from all the sorrow
and agony that they’re going through into exhilaration.

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Martin Luther King restated a lot of repetition and rhythm throughout his speech where
his passion increases each time. “Let freedom ring” was the most repetition forenamed ten times.
Behind these repetitions were the places where segregation is greatly existent. King uses
historical allusion from the song written by written by Samuel F. Smith in 1832 called “My
Country ‘Tis of Thee”. King says “This will be the day when all God’s children will be able to
sing with a new meaning,‘My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land
where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring.”
He refers blacks and whites as God’s Children and implies that there will be unity when racism is
no more. King then sings the American National anthem to advise people that we all live on the
same great land. His purpose was to provoke people to fight against segregation without rampage
and cause a sense of unity to the hearts of all people listening to his speech.