I Have a Dream – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)
Racial issue has been a problem for a long time since it is still difficult for some people to get rid of their prejudices. In some areas where people with various races gathered, competition and desire for power over others will be difficult to avoid. In his fiery speech about the dreams of freedom of the African-American titled I Have a Dream (1963), Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to demand equal rights of the Black which had been promised in the promissory notes (the Emancipation Proclamation, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence) and to encourage the Negroes to keep fighting for their justice and freedom. Through his speech, King said that it is time for the African-Americans to not give up in making their dreams of emancipation come true.
In I Have a Dream, King emphasized his argument about the riches of freedom and the security of justice for the American Negroes repeatedly. We can see in his speech text that his statements had rhythm; these prove the assertion of his persuasive argument. King demanded for the promise of liberty that the Founding Fathers had made by continually stated his words in the same structure, with the same expression in the beginning of the sentences – the words like “One hundred years later…”, “Now is the time to…”, “I have a dream that one day…” These repeated sentence structure produced a pleasing harmony sentences, which make them easily to be understood and also seems to be full of spirit and determination.
King also tried to encourage the American Negroes to demand the citizenship rights that have been promised to them and to ask for the promises to be fulfilled immediately. Although he asked the Negroes to keep fighting, he did not want anybody to get hurt; he asked the people to deliver creative protest without using violence and lawfully. This part of statements shows his tone in delivering the speech, which, although persuasive, did not mean to lead to violent actions; instead he wanted all American to walk together, hand by hand, no matter what their color are. In short, we can say that his tone in delivering this speech is enthusiastic, passionate, and emotionally neutral.
In some parts of this speech, King’s words refers to the context of the story in the Bible – for example, when he said about the appeal of freedom which will be rung from the mountain tops. This shows one of his speech styles; in this case, he used it because he is a priest and most of the audiences were Christian. Also, he stated his words coherently straight to the point so that we can grab his point of argument easily.
The speech had successfully met its objection, which is to get justice and freedom for the African-American since after his whirlwinds of revolt, bunch of Americans join the peaceful protest, which has been spearheaded by King, and keep on fighting until the bright day of justice emerges. Overall, the speech shows us King’s biases in stating his demand to get justice and freedom for the African-Americans because he strongly defended and more inclined to take sides to the Blacks. However, like I mentioned before, his tone is emotionally neutral since he asked the people to keep on fighting, but in lawfully and non-violently way.In brief, King’s I Have a Dream is a remarkable speech because it really motivated people, not only the Blacks but also the Whites, to make a movement of change to make America a great nation, which is able to respect and protect every citizen without discrimination based on color of their skin. This speech has become a pioneer of the movement for the revival of minorities around the world. His dreams aim to make America a better place where the Blacks and the Whites will live together peacefully in justice and freedom, just like the dreams of the American Dreams
Amanda Cornella Meliala