Sunday, May 5, 2013
The "I Have A Dream" speech was delivered by Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963. This speech was known as one of the defining moments for the American Civil Rights Movement. In this speech, King calls for racial equality and a just place where blacks and whites could live happily without segregation or discrimination.
His first point was to mention the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation which was supposed to free all slaves indefinitely. He referred more to the symbolic significance because the proclamation did not automatically free slaves everywhere. The Emancipation Proclamation was a sign that blacks would be able to reach the American dream once they were declared free by Abraham Lincoln.
He then explains how the blacks are still not free. Although they were not officially slaves anymore, the whites found ways to segregate them. These actions were called the Jim Crow laws. Whites and blacks would have different bathrooms, fountains, seats and even schools. This not only degraded blacks but showed them that they were still not equal to whites even being free men and women.
King then goes on to say that both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were made to protect and guarantee our right's as citizens. "Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds"", there he says that instead of blacks obtaining equal rights as whites as promised in these documents, blacks cannot figuratively "cash their check" because those rights weren't guaranteed for all men. King urges for the change to happen now and for people to stop putting it off any longer. This movement would not be temporary and it would take people that will not give up easily. If people continued to ignore the injustice then nothing would change. He was not about a violent struggle for freedom. He believed that it could be acquired peacefully. He urged people to fight for equality until it was completely achieved, zero racism, zero segregation. He hopes that one day we could all rejoice in equality just like slaves did when finding out they were free.