Intention

When analyzing Dr. Martin Luther King’s intention with his "I Have a Dream" speech, it is important to be aware of the historical circumstances. The speech was delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and King used the occasion to argue in favor of some of the core goals of the Civil Rights Moveme…

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Promoting and supporting racial equality

Delivered in front of activists, but also broadcast on TV, the speech was aimed at promoting and supporting racial equality. This is the speaker’s overall intention.

To …

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Encouraging peaceful protests and future unity 

The speaker also wants to convince civil rights activists to continue to protest peacefully, without promoting hatred against white Americans: “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into phys…

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Calling attention to existing discrimination

At the same time, MLK’s intention is to appear aware of the frustrations that discrimination causes: “I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.” (ll. 97-98).

Fu…

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Reaching the American public and American politicians

One of King’s aims is to reach the wider American public, including the white population, so as to gain their support in the fight for equal civil rights: “…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.”  (ll. 72-74).

Ultimately, MLK wants to reach political decision-makers and authorities (remember the speech …

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