Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I Have A Dream”

Posted: January 16, 2017 in History, Things I Love
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Martin Luther King Jr. delivered this speech during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Beginning with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed millions of slaves in 1863, King observes that: “One hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.” Toward the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised “I have a dream” theme. Although largely forgotten in history, this had been prompted by Mahalia Jackson’s cry of “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” King then proceeded to thrill the crowd with what has now become its most famous line, “I have a dream” and all that followed. The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of scholars.

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