I Have a Dream
Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. King had been preaching about dreams since 1960, when he gave a speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called “The Negro and the American Dream”
About I Have a Dream in brief
Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. He called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. King had been preaching about dreams since 1960, when he gave a speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called \”The Negro and the American Dream\”. He originally designed his speech as a homage to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, timed to correspond with the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. In this part of the speech, which most excited the listeners and has now become its most famous, King described his dreams of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred. In the end, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme \”I have a dream\”, prompted by Mahalia Jackson’s cry: \”Tell them about the dream, Martin!\” The speech has also been described as having a strong claim to be the greatest in the English language of all time. The March on D.C. was partly intended to demonstrate mass support for the civil rights legislation proposed by President Kennedy in June. King and other leaders agreed to keep their speeches calm, also, to avoid provoking the civil disobedience which had become the hallmark of the Civil Rights Movement. The focus on the dream comes through the speech through the delivery of noted African-American gospel singer MahaliaJackson.
King’s speech was drafted with the assistance of Stanley Levison and Clarence Jones, New York City’s Benjamin Jones, and Clarence Riverdale Jones, of New York. It has no single version draft, but is an amalgamation of several drafts, and was originally called ANormalcy, Never Again, Little of this, and Little of This. The final draft of the draft is housed at the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University, and the Martin Luther. King Jr., Jr. Center and Library, Morehouse University. The draft is called “I Have a Dream Again” and has been shown to have had several versions, written at several different times. It is also known as “The Dream Speech” or “The American Dream” and was first delivered in November 1962 at Booker T. Washington High School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. It was longer than the version which he would eventually deliver from the Lincoln Memorial. After being rediscovered in 2015, the restored and digitized recording of the 1962 speech was presented to the public by the English department of North Carolina State University. In it, King suggests that the Negro is God’s instrument to save the soul of America. In 1961, he spoke of the civil Rights Movement and student activists’ “dream” of equality in several national speeches and statements, and took the dream as the centerpiece for these speeches.