In what was to become the most renowned speech of the 20th century, “I have a dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a window to view not only one of the best orators in world history, but the passion of one man’s battle for equality.
Dr. King’s involvement in the Montgomery County Bus Strikes and battle for equality was sparked with the case of Mrs. Rosa Parks, who would not give up her seat on a public bus to a white person. King, who by that time had received his PhD from Boston College in 1955, started the bus boycott that would see his arrest and the bombing of his house. It was the first time King had actually used the philosophy he had studied intensely – non-violent civil disobedience. He saw that it, more than violence, caught attention, created frustration, and made a strong point when employed collectively.
Following, King worked hard over the next years to fight the Jim Crow Laws that segregated his people. His work in the poor neighborhoods and ghettos in the south, which in turn brought media attention to the hardships and dearth environment that his fellow blacks were suffering each day. With his work, King made the Civil Rights Movement the most focused-upon issue of the day. Similar to President Abraham Lincoln’s battle, King, although 100 years later, was fighting for the same cause: to keep America focused, together, and aware of the undeniable inequality of the various races living in the United States.
One of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s strongest beliefs was that black people living in the United States should be compensated for America’s past wrongs. He claims that the blacks who built America to be the superpower it would become, would not have done so without the backbreaking labor enforced upon slaves.
In the “March on Washington”, King deliberately gave his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 to the crowd of thousands who had come for the right to jobs and freedom. The March made some clear-cut demands, including equal rights in schools and public places, police brutality clauses, and minimum wage standards. In April of 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by an assassin’s bullet. A small-time thief by the name James Earl Ray was sentenced for the assassination, although a conspiracy theory holds that Ray did not commit the crime. Many claim it was the FBI, who had been keeping tabs on King since early 1961. Others involved in the plot have come forth, leaving room for many unanswered questions.
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