Document Analysis Excerpts from “I Have Dream Speech”

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In the aftermath of Little Rock and Emmett Till’s murder, a new militancy engulfed African American community. That spirit inspired direct actions as Rosa Parks and Montgomery Bus Boycott, Sitting In Greensboro, North Carolina and Freedom Riders. Americans saw the violence that African American had to endure simply for believing they were citizens. Allies joined the struggle.
Source: Trikosko, Marion (photographer), “Marchers with signs at the March on Washington, 1963″ Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, digital ID: ppmsca 37229. Available at,_1963.jpg (Links to an external site.)
Direct Actions- by forcing all Americans to take a stand- made the struggle for citizenship an issue for all Americans, not just those affected by it. That pressure convinced President Kennedy to introduced the Civil Right bill on 1963. Hoping to transmit a sense of urgency, Civil Rights activist organized the March on Washington on August of the same year. This event ” will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation” [1]
Source: Leffler, Warren K., (photographer,) “Civil Rights March on Wash[ington], D.C. 28 August 1963.” United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.04296. Available- consulted Summer 2020- at,_D.C._from_Lincoln.jpg (Links to an external site.)
Document Analysis Excerpts from “I Have Dream Speech”
Dr. King’ speech become a landmark in American history. On his words, we can read our current ideology on race relations.
Source: “I Have a Dream” Kings Institute. Stanford University. Available at (Links to an external site.)
“This note [Declaration of Independence] 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.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”
“In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”
“The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.”
“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.”
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In three paragraphs, please explain three ideas from “I Have a Dream” speech.
Epilogue on the Civil Rights Movement.
On 1964, almost 100 years after the abolition of slavery, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act which outlawed all forms of discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender or national origins. Moreover, on 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act which outlawed literacy test and empowered the Federal Government to register voters on States with a history of voter suppression.
African American Struggle for Citizenship made us a better society. Our country showed the world that we wanted live up to the principles the Declaration of Independence. Despite our differences, we believe that we are a country of sisters and brothers; that we are all Americans. That was the great gift that all Americans who fought against hate inherited us.


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