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There aren’t many people in the world that haven’t heard of Martin Luther King and the most famous speech of all times, I Have a Dream. This speech was delivered...by one of the most influential civil rights activists in the world, Martin Luther King Jr., during the March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs in 1963.
In his speech, King called for economic and civil rights and fiercely spoke against racism in the USA and the world. The speech was delivered to over 250,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during a period where racism was at its strongest in the world.
Essays by students written about this speech don’t just talk about the powerful message it shares. They also talk about how it was written, the symbolism used in it, as well as how King shared his message with the audience.
King started his I Have a Dream speech with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, a time when millions of slaves were declared free. Even though this happened in 1863, king said that “one hundred years later, the Negro is still not free”.
This is one of the most repeated message that describes racism, discrimination, and slavery, and is one of the many great topics for your essay on I Have a Dream speech.
Let’s move on to the remaining of the speech while we help you figure out what to write about. The theme “I have a dream” was prompted by the cry of Mahalia Jackson that said: “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” Decades later, this part of the speech is most exciting for the listeners, and it’s the leading force behind anti-racism movements even today.
One very interesting fact that you might want to include in your speech essay is that this speech was not supposed to be as provoking and motivating as King made it. Leaders that held speeches during this ceremony agreed to keep their speeches calm to avoid civil disobedience in a time of the Civil Rights Movement.
But, who could expect anything simple and calm from King? He has been preaching about dreams and talking about racism and slavery since 1060 when he gave his speech called “The Negro and the American Dream”.
As a matter of fact, one frequently discussed fact in essays on this topic is that this particular speech is a combination of King’s past speeches, and not an entirely unique piece of content.
For this reason, many students choose to write a Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” essay comparing this speech to the past speeches of King, as well as other motivational, similarly-themed speeches from that time.
Since this speech is rated one of the best in the world and of all time, you can also compare it to other speeches from different eras that share the same or similar topic, or even stylistic elements.
The fact that this speech is so popular is what makes it so complicated to write about. Students struggle with deciding what to write about. Since they have access to so much information seeing how the speech is one of the most discussed in the world, it is hard to decide what to use and what to exclude.
On this website, you can find quality I Have a Dream essay examples that will guide you in the right direction. We made sure to create diverse essays that tackle the topic from various perspectives. The samples are free to read and are aimed to help you get inspired and motivated to write a great piece on this topic.
I Have a Dream Essay Topics That Inspire and Impress
1.The Most Important Message in the ‘I have a Dream’ Speech
2.If ‘I have a Dream’ Were an Essay What Type of Essay Would It Be
3.The ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech and the Stylistic Devices Used to Enrich It
4.How and Why Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ Speech Became Popular Worldwide
5.The Effect of the ‘I have a Dream’ Speech Then and Now
6.Comparing the ‘Black Like Me’ and the ‘I have a Dream’ Speech
7.Figurative Language Used in Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ Speech
8.How Things Have Changed in the World After Martin Luther King’s Death
9.Black Oppression Messages in the ‘I have a Dream’ and ‘Sonny’s Blues’ Speeches
10.The Voices and Ideologies of Martin Luther King and Malcom X
11.Anaphora and Metaphors Used to Promote Racial Equality in ‘I have a Dream’
12.How Martin Luther King Express the Imminent Need to End Racism in ‘I have a Dream’
13.Racial Injustice and How It’s Portrayed in Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’
14.Different Analysis and Perspectives for the ‘I have a Dream’ Speech in the World
15.Effectiveness of the ‘I have a Dream’ Speech: Did It Change Anything
August 29, 1963
Martin Luther King Jr.
Symbols / Motives
Civil rights, racism, economic rights
This is the top-ranked American speech of the 20th century.
Martin Luther King Jr. gave the speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This event demonstrated support for President Kennedy’s proposed civil rights legislation. Martin Luter King wrote the speech as a homage to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
In the speech, King mentions the Emancipation Proclamation, the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution as the founding documents for a restored democracy.
Why is this topic important
100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, “the Negro still is not free.” King’s speech intends to awaken American citizens to the reality and inspire a real change in society.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”
“The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open.”
In 1964, one year after giving the speech, King became the youngest man who ever received the Nobel Peace Prize.
The March on Washington really pressured the government to advance stronger civil rights legislation in Congress. It is a simple, powerful speech that gets straight to the point and is driven by raw emotion.
Several Black leaders have criticized King for being too mellow and compromising.
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