Aug. 28 – King speaks to March on Washington (I Have a Dream Speech)

Gay Lynn HillAmerican History(BR), Bell Ringers

On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. announced his “I Have a Dream” speech as he addressed the crowd at the March on Washington in Washington D.C.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the biggest peaceful assembly the capital has ever seen, with more than 250,000 people in attendance. The final speaker at the march was the most prominent leader of the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In his speech, King dreams of a colorblind society. He hopes that his 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.”

Not only was King’s address his most famous speech, but it also serves as one of the most famous speeches in American history. King led the civil rights movements of the 1960s, as he pushed for the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Acts of 1965 before his assassination in 1968.



Questions:
  1. How close today are we to the “color-blind society” King envisioned in 1963?
  2. What impact did King’s skills as an orator have on his overall effectiveness in energizing supporters of the civil rights movement?
  3. What do you think is the lasting legacy of MLK? Why is this speech so important?
  4. Thinking of the different divisions of the country today, it is easy to say what you think others need to do to change. Leaving that aside, what do you need to do to bring the country closer to realizing Dr. King’s dreams?

Image Citation:

23rd, Aug. 2018, Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his “I Have a Dream Speech” to the March on Washington crowd, Aug. 28, 1863 [Digital photograph].  Retrieved from <google.com>.