Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ is one of the greatest speeches in history

Ian Harvey
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The influential American civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, who was also a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, once held the most revolutionary speech known as ‘I have a dream.’

He managed to gather more than 250,000 civil rights supporters during the marsh for Jobs and Freedom in Washington on August 28th and held his timeless speech in 1963.

King held many speeches during his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, but the one during this march was special because he touched the heart of everyone that day.

The main subject processed in the speech, which was considered as the greatest call to end racism in America, were the freedom rights of the black people. Martin was discussing the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed a million slaves back in 1863.

Martin Luther King Jr. delivering “I Have a Dream” at the 1963 Washington D.C. Civil Rights March  Photo Credit



View from the Lincoln Memorial toward the Washington Monument on August 28th, 1963 Photo Credit

However, he pointed that even hundred years since then, the black person still wasn’t free. As King finished the speech, he departed from his prepared text and started explaining his dream, encouraged by Mahalia Jackson’s cry: ‘Tell them about that dream, Martin.’

The famous revolutionist described his ideas of freedom and equal rights for everyone around the world. He dreamed of black people who would live freely and arise from the land of slavery and hatred they lived in for so many years.

Among the most quoted lines of the speech, he also described a personal example of his life that affected people even more. He said that one day in future, he wanted his children to live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the qualities of their character. ‘I have a dream today,’ were the words which King highlighted at the end of the sentence.

King at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Photo Credit


The location on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial from which King delivered the speech is commemorated in this inscription  Photo Credit

The speech was considered as remarkable and qualified as the top American speech of the 20th century because the right man said the right words at the right place and at the right time.

His memorial was established in 2011 and was based on a line from King’s speech: ‘Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.’ A 30 feet high relief named the ‘Stone of Hope’ stands between two other pieces of granite symbolizing his ‘Mountain of Despair.’

Even President Kennedy watched the event on television and claimed that he was impressed by King’s performance. Although the revolutionary march and speech pressured Kennedy’s administration to improve the civil rights in Congress, Kennedy considered them successful elements which contributed to the liberal civil rights coalition he was planning to form in future.

John F. Kennedy’s brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 22nd June 1963, Washington, D.C. Photo Credit

People like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King will be remembered as great people who intended to change the world for better.

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However, that kind of people are always the target of others who look forward to their destruction. King and Kennedy were both assassinated, and their deaths are still the subject of many conspiracy theories.