I Have A Dream
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
I Have A Dream Summary
“I have a dream” is a historical speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr., who is renowned all over the world for his policy of passive resistance and oratorical skills.
The campaign of Martin Luther King against color and racial discrimination began in 1950. It reached its historic climax in 1963, leading a mass of two hundred thousand people both blacks and whites from Washington Monument to Lincoln’s memorial. He delivered this memorable speech on 28 August 1963.
Martin Luther King begins his speech paying tribute to Abraham Lincoln, who signed the emancipation proclamation 100 years ago. This historical document has brought a light of hope among the negro slaves ending a long night of captivity. They had hoped that they would be free and that they would not be discriminated anymore. But a hundred years after the document has been signed; the Negros were still not free. They were still crippled by the chains of discrimination and manacles of segregation and still compelled to live a miserable life among wealthy white Americans. They were still compelled to live as an outsider in their own country.
So Martin Luther King says that they have gathered at the capital of the nation to cash check. When the leaders of the USA wrote the words of the constitution, they were signing a promissory note, but instead of granting the Negros the right promised by the constitution, the government of the USA has given a bad check.
Martin Luther King is not ready to believe that the bank of the USA is bankrupt, so he urges the government to fulfill the demands of all the negros without any delay. Failing to meet their requirements would be fatal for the nation. There will be neither peace nor rest in the nation until their rights are granted.
Martin Luther King reminds his people that they should not carry out any violent activities in the course of the protest. Martin wants to conduct the struggle in discipline and dignified way combining their physical force with the spiritual one. He also, asks his people not to distrust all the white people because some of the whites have been helping the negros to get equal rights. They cannot move alone as their destiny has been tied with that of the whites.
Answering a question, “When the negros will be satisfied, he says that they will not be satisfied?” He says that they will not be satisfied as long as the police continue brutality against them, they are deprived of getting rest at the hotels of the cities and motels of the highways, are deprived of their voting rights, equality, justice, and freedom. With the hope that their situation will be changed one day, he asks his people to go back to their respective places and work for the change.
In spite, of the difficulties and frustration of the movement, he has a dream that is deeply rooted in the American dream. He has a dream that the nation will be able to live according to the creed that all men are treated equally. He has a dream that the sons of farmers, slaves and those of the masters will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. He has a dream that his four children will be treated not in terms of the color of the skin but in terms of the content of their character. He has a dream that the black boys and girls will be able to walk together with white boys and girls as brothers and sisters. He has a dream that everyone will get freedom, justice, and equality. He is going to have his dreams fulfilled organizing a peaceful mass demonstration and passive resistance.
If America has to become a great and free nation, every part of the nation and the people living there should be free. Only then the people of different colors, races, and religions will be able to join hands and move together singing the song of freedom.
Have a watch at the original speech of “I Have A Dream’ delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some Important Questions And Answers From “I Have A Dream.”
Question. Explain King’s analogy of the bad check. (Paragraph 3 and 4).
Answer. In paragraph 3 and 4 of the speech, I have a dream delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. uses an analogy of bad check to explain how the constitution of USA has failed to give the promises to the negros.
The constitution is written permission like cheque issued by a bank that promises to give the cheque bearer the amount of money stated in the cheque, but the constitution of USA had become a bad check for the negros because they have not been granted the rights promised by it.
Here the speaker is comparing the constitution of the USA with a bad check, the US government with a bank and the Negros with a check bearer.
Question. What does the term “Dream” refer to in Martin Luther king’s speech?
Answer. In Martin Luther king’s speech, “Dream” refers to the American dream. It means his expectation and needs to avoid racial discrimination between white and black peoples.
He has a dream of equality and justice, brotherhood and freedom and serenity. He dreams that the sons of farmers, slaves, and sons of the masters and owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. All his four children will be able to work and walk together without any discrimination. All the black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
He has a dream that the people of different colors, races, and religions will be able to join hands and move together singing the song of freedom.
Question. The speech “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King is regarded as an unforgettable speech. Why? Elaborate.
Answer. The speech I have a Dream by Martin Luther King is regarded as an unforgettable and memorable speech in the history of American human rights. “I have a dream” is a historical speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. who is renowned all over the world for his policy of passive resistance and oratorical skills. To listen to this speech more than 200 thousand black and white people gathered so this is a historic and unforgettable speech.
I have a dream includes almost all problems of injustice and inequalities faced and rooted in American society especially against the black negros. Negros were not given educational rights, social rights, voting rights, and any other basic Human rights.
Martin Luther King has labeled American people while many white peoples were also present in the protest. Martin sentimentally expresses that America would be rich and prosperous only if all the blacks would also be rich and prosperous. American black had been unable to use even constitutional rights like voting rights. When the leaders of USA wrote the words of the constitution, they were signing a promissory note, but rather of granting the Negros the right assured by the constitution, the state of USA has given a bad check.
This speech is also unforgettable because this encourages the black not to be offensive and destructive to the whites and the whole USA. He requested the black to lead the peace movement against the state
Some Important Questions From “I Have A Dream”
- What does the term “Dream” refer to in Martin Luther king’s speech?
- What is the dream of Martin Luther King?
- What is the apparent purpose of Martin Luther king’s speech? Do his actions contradict his non-violence philosophy?
- What dream does Martin Luther King have? How does he want to fulfill it?
- How does Martin Luther King want to fulfill his dream? Does he ask his activists to be very calm and civilized in the process of the protest? Explain.
- Explain the purpose of Martin Luther king’s speech.
- When will the colored people be satisfied, according to the king? Does he encourage them to start violence?
- Why was Martin Luther king’s speech so popular? Explain.
- What does the sad picture of the society as exposed by Martin Luther King refer to?
- Martin Luther king exposes a sad picture of the colored people in America. What does this sad picture refer to and how does he want to over this sad picture?
- To what extent does the king’s personal authority lend power to his words?
- Discuss the dream of Martin Luther king.
- What dream does Martin Luther king envision for America? Write them in paragraph form.
- Discuss “I have a Dream” as a plea for freedom and equality.
- Argue in favor of some course of action in a situation that you consider an injustice, racial injustice is one possible area, or unfairness to any minority, the old, ex-convicts, women, children, the handicapped, the poor. If possible narrow subject to a particular incident or a local situation on which you can write knowledgeably.
- What is the historical significance of Martin Luther King’s speech?
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