“I have a dream” speech was given by Martin Luther King on 28th August 1963. There was an audience of about 250,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington where the speech was given. This speech was mainly based on the freedom for the black’s referred to as Negros. He was much concerned about the oppression and exploitation of the black Americans at that time and he wished that people would understand that they were all equal.
Unfortunately, Martin Luther king was assassinated on 4th of April 1968 when he was thirty nine years old. However, Martin Luther king left a legacy and is remembered on Martin Luther King Day every year.
Significance of the Speech in the world today
In the course of delivering his speech, Martin Luther King said, “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation” (King speeches 1).
This statement as he said has remained in our times and this is what has been happening all over the world. People are fighting for their freedom. He viewed it as an end to all oppression that was continuously being witnessed. This is a sign of new life of freedom and equality. Since he was a theologian, Martin Luther King addressed many injustices according to the Bible.
Martin Luther King was enlightened and was tired of seeing blacks being exploited. He saw that the blacks were enslaved by the whites and yet they were helping them. He said, One hundred years later, the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely Island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. (Speech 1) Today many people are being exploited because of their race, tribe and even their origin. Many are living in poverty in the midst of the rich. Martin Luther King had spoken about this in his speech. He regretted that even after the country got a constitution; it did not accomplish the purpose it was meant to accomplish: “This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Speech 1).
This is a fact even in today’s society. Many countries have constitutions made up so as to bring about justice to the people. However, it is very unfortunate because many people are experiencing injustice in form of labor, race and tribe. Martin Luther King said that, “It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment” (Speech 1). This signifies that it was a matter that needed to be addressed in urgency; otherwise it would bring great destruction to the society at large. The same applies to the world today.
If nations do not put away their differences it may lead to great losses to many people, for instance the mass killings which were witnessed in Rwanda, Yugoslavia and even currently the conflicts in the Middle East are consequences of injustices not being addressed urgently (United Human Rights Council 1). Martin Luther King said, that he had a dream, that every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low meaning that he hoped for a future with equality. This is believed to have become the reality of the dream when, black American Barack Obama became the president of America.
Criticism of the Speech
Although the speech is of great significance in our society today critics say that King was excessively rhetorical and that he did not provide a way to solve the many problems he addressed. Others say that some of his work in his doctoral dissertation was plagiarized.
This was followed by other responses that disagreed with the statement and said that it had nothing to do with his contribution in the civil rights movement (E-notes 1).
Martin Luther King’s Speech remains important in the modern society. It consists of well founded goals which if well addressed will take many countries up the ladder. However, critics will always be there to search for the wrongs.
E-notes. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1929-1968. E-NOTES, 2011. Web.
17th May, 2011.
17th May, 2011.
Speech topics Help, Advice & Ideas, 2011. Web. 17th May, 2011. < http://www.speech-topics-help.
com/i-have-a-dream-speech.html> United Human Rights Council. Genocide in Rwanda.
United Human Rights Council, 2011. 17th May, 2011. Web. 17th May, 2011.