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Martin Luther King Essay Example on Famous “I had a dream” Speech

Speech report, APA, High school
2 pages, 1 sources

Arguably, every single student has to go through this, whether in high school or college. No, we’re not talking about cramming; we’re talking about writing an essay on Martin Luther King. In, say, 50 years hardly will anyone remember who was the president of the US at the beginning of the 2010s. But King’s speech “I had a dream” that Obama (yes, that was him) used in his election campaign, will be remembered and referenced to for centuries. Below you’ll find a sample report on this speech – use it to draw inspiration and topic ideas for your own work.

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Luther King’s “I had a dream” Speech Summary

The speech by Martin Luther took place in Washington DC, Lincoln Memorial on 28th August 1963. The appeal was mainly about racial inequality, elimination of racism, and the desire for peaceful coexistence among people.

With regard to racial inequality, King opened the speech by providing a discussion on the topic of Emancipation Proclamation that was issued by Abraham Lincoln that freed slaves after the civil war that took place 100 years before. The proclamation was a beacon of hope for the black people. However, he pointed out that still there was a bulk of work for them to be considered “free.”

In this speech, Martin Luther makes references to events that took place in American history to justify that indeed equality has not been guaranteed to all. For instance, he uses the Declaration and the Constitution to put emphasis on the promises that have not been fulfilled. King equated the promissory note to what guaranteed all the citizens the rights to liberty, life, and happiness. For instance, “this note was a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The speech also touched on peaceful protests, which, according to King, were common in the country. He called on the protesters to stick together as they continued refraining from violent actions and not allowing hatred to take over them. Finally, in his speech King referred to the dreams for the future in which he provided a series of demands. They included granting blacks the right to take part in elections across the country.


King, M. L. (1993). The Martin Luther King, Jr., companion: quotations from the speeches, essays, and books of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: St. Martins Press.

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