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Richard Nordquist

Ten Things You May Not Have Known About Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" Speech

By January 16, 2012

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In a survey of leading scholars of American public address, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech was rated as the most significant American political speech of the 20th century.

But besides the all-too-familiar "I have a dream" refrain, how much do we know about this landmark speech?

Not enough, I decided, and so I recently spent some time with a few historians and rhetoricians to learn more. . . .

For the complete article, see Ten Things You Should Know About Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" Speech.


January 23, 2012 at 11:44 pm
(1) Richard FitzPatrick says:

I was in Memphis last summer and had the pleasure of spending a few hours at the Museum of Civil Rights, which was built on the Lorraine hotel, where Dr. King was murdered in 1968. I have recently read and re -read Taylor Branch’s three-volume biography of Dr. King. I can only be thankful to have lived at the same time as Dr. King, to have witnessed his great speeches in Washington and Montgomery and Memphis (on TV). T the time of his death, I had plans to see him in person for a poor people’s March he had called for later in 1968. Dr. King was so much more than a great Civil Rights leader. His appeal is universal, extending to all who love freedom and fight for social justice, whether they be victims of apartheid or advocates for women’s right or gay rights, or Americans who realize we have a lot of work to do to fulfill his dream.

January 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm
(2) Robin says:

So-called gay rights have nothing to do with Martin Luther King’s dream. His was a dream for racial and economic justice; it has nothing to do with homosexuality.

March 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm
(3) Terry says:

@ robin I think what Richard was saying is that his dream for freedom is able to be identified throughout the ages with any type of person. Modern times the fight for homosexual rights can identify with this speech, where as back then it was a social and civil rights movement. So before you try to address and ‘correct’ someone, quit trying to look smart you just sound ignorant.

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