The Fight For Freedom Essay

1661 words - 7 pages

How did freedom for blacks come about? The Civil Rights Movement took place in the late 1950’s though the 1960’s, however; Tricia Andryszewski informs her readers that Black Americans had been working for change since before the civil war, but mainly beyond. Some of the most prominent civil rights leaders include Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Philip Randolph, and Bayard Rustin. The two main goals of the civil rights activists being, equal rights and treatment for all races. As a result, the “I Have a Dream” speech was written by Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who “Led successful efforts to integrate public transportation in Montgomery, Alabama; founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to work for nonviolent social change; and influenced the passage of major civil rights legislation in the United States” (Keene). The speech was enacted on August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Monument. With the main theme stressed to the audience, all people are created equal. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. inspires his intended audience using the rhetorical devices of repetition and allusion.
With this in mind, Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech has become the basis of inspiration for equality and social harmony in the United States through the decades thereafter. Throughout his speech, King provides several examples of what equality would really mean to Americans. Some of its popular themes being racial equality, justice, freedom, and interracial cooperation between whites and blacks. King heralds, “So we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice” (King). With this metaphor he supports the theme, freedom and justice for blacks, by combining with previous statements to imply that all Americans were guaranteed the three unalienable rights, but not ALL Americans received them because of race. King asserts the reason they demand the rights, in the form of a check, speaking figuratively, this only confirms his stance regarding theme. In the book, African American History “I Have a Dream”, the author identifies the theme of the speech as “racial equality and freedom” and later adds “interracial cooperation and social equality” (Bankston). Bankston supports the major themes of “I Have a Dream” through direct statements, his suggested themes support those of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Consequently, identifying the theme of a piece will help identify the main purpose.
In King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, there are multiple possible purposes, but some seem more convincing than others. Martin Luther King inspired those who supported and believed in the civil rights movement and informed those who were against it with his “I Have a Dream” speech. Bankston advocates that MLK’s purpose was to “arouse the conscience of the United States to the plight of African Americans” (Bankston). King, definitely...

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