Summary Essay On Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” Speech
The speech by Martin Luther took place in Washington DC, Lincoln Memorial on 28th August 1963 and the speech was mainly about racial inequality, elimination of racism and the desire for peaceful coexistence among people. With regards to racial inequality, King opened the speech by providing a discussion on the topic of Emancipation Proclamation that was issued by Abraham Lincoln that freed slaves after the civil war that took place 100 years before. The proclamation was a beacon of hope for the black people. However, he pointed out that still there was a bulk of work for them to be considered “free”. The speech also revolved around some of the unkept promises.
In this case, King made reference to both the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in the speech. He equated the promissory note to what guaranteed all the citizens the rights to liberty, life, and happiness. For instance, “this note was a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. The speech also touched on peaceful protests which according to King were common in the country.
He called on the protesters to stick together as they continued refraining from violent actions and not allowing hatred to take over them. Finally, King in his speech also referred to the dreams for the future in which he provided a series of demands which included granting blacks the right to take part in elections across the country. In this speech, Martin Luther makes references to events that took place in the history of the country to justify that indeed equality has not been guaranteed to all. For instance, he uses the Declaration and the Constitution to put emphasis on the promises that have not been fulfilled.