Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream

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 Martin Luther King Jr was an inspirational leader that’s legacy will carry on for several centuries. Martin was the second child in his family and his parents were a reason for his great life as his father was a reverend as well. He was the first son of the family, not many people may know this about him but his real name was Michael Luther King, but “he was renamed Martin” when he was about 6 years old. King growing up had a normal education, like most children however in the mid-1900s, though what broke his heart was the discrimination and racism that he both faced and saw. Until his junior year in high school, he was always an above-average student, but once his junior year hit he received excellent marks on his college entrance exams which granted him admittance to Morehouse College a year before he was expecting. After receiving a sociology degree from Morehouse, he decided to go further with his education at the University of Pennsylvania. While attending classes at University, he became the president of his class and earned the highest grades out of his class. Before deciding to further his education, Martin decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Martin Luther King Jr was able to follow in his footsteps in 1948. In 1951, he wanted to further his education after Pennsylvania and so he continued his education at Boston University. It may be noted that every doctoral program is very heavy with workload so it is unlikely that you will have much time to socialize. However Martin was a very special, talented individual, and he found the love of his life. He met his future wife to be, Coretta Scott in 1951, and they ended up getting married just 2 short years later. After the king had gone through his educational and spiritual training he knew that he was ready to lead, African Americans toward true equality and away from the societal views that plagued them daily. King soon began his unbelievable career as a full-time civil rights activist.

King was successful early in his life as an activist by organizing and being a key player in the Montgomery Bus Boycott that lasted 381 days from 1955 and 1956. Following his involvement with this, he moved on to become the president, and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1957 to 1968.

King was involved in hundreds of protests, boycotts, and demonstrations of peace, unfortunately, were arrested over 30 times. The most influential part about Martin Luther King is how he could inspire his followers through his speeches. He would rally supporters to his cause and for his great accomplishments, he earned himself a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the civil rights movement. He gave many fantastic speeches that have moved every listener in the crowd no matter whose they were on.

Martin Luther King Jr was a powerful leader that will have a profound effect on history for several generations to come. What surprised me is how he was able to take the passion he had when he was a minister and carry that same passion when he was giving speeches and fighting for civil rights. (“Martin Luther King Jr Biographical,”1964). What particularly struck me about Martin Luther King was the way he would express his words, I believe him being a pastor helped extremely. (Alridge, ND). When you are making a positive impact and you are affecting a lot of people, eventually someone wants to kill you and the case wasn’t different for Martin Luther King Jr. King by a lot of people thought he was a threat to Democracy, and harassed by the FBI. (Bickford III, Byas). The way you say something, especially to a group of people is very important, it can have a profound effect on someone. You can tell someone, “ I love you”, however, the words are meaningless unless you describe it, for example how do you love that particular person, what does that person mean to you? Another example that could be noted is when you are giving constructive criticism to a family member or a coworker or a significant other. Although you are close to that particular person, it may be difficult to speak negatively. Your tone, and the way you discuss the criticism are very profound, for example in a low tone, “ this is why you are maybe wrong in this situation, or you can improve in this way. “ Martin Luther King Jr faced many difficulties in his life, especially during the Civil Rights Movement during the ’50s and 60’s, facing many death threats, also there was a bomb that went off on his house. (A & E Television Networks, 2014). Although racism is still prevalent nowadays. it was horrible back in Martin Luther King Jr’s time. Critics of Martin Luther King say without constantly preaching faith his agenda would have no merit. (Hoffman, ND). Also that he was a race “ vindicator” he saw the civil rights movements and that blacks in the south were satisfied with their condition. (Berry, ND)

Martin Luther King Jr gets compared to many leaders, however, the one where he got his motivation and inspiration from was Gandhi. Gandhi had many similarities to Martin Luther King. Gandhi practicing nonviolence inspired many leaders around the world and his legacy will be remembered for a long time. (Frayer, 2019). No one thought that Gandhi was able to stand up to the British at that time and many thought he was crazy. (Orwell, ND). A leader he gets compared to often is Malcolm X, and rightfully so. (Mamiya ND), Malcolm X shared the same vision as Martin Luther King Jr, he wanted African Americans to have more freedom. (“Malcolm X Biography). Another leader who has a lot of similarities with Martin Luther King Jr is Kiran Bedi. Kiran Bedi eventually became a Warden of one of the most dangerous prisons in India. When I first watched a video on her, I did not feel like a Woman would be able to get the most dangerous criminals to listen to her, but I was terribly mistaken. What's similar to Kiran Bedi and Martin Luther King is the peace they carry with individuals. The prisoners that Kiran Bedi ended up meeting and talked to too many of them did not feel any peace or any love in their life. By practicing peace and love and having more sessions of vipassana Kiran Bedi was able to transform Tihar prison. (Tesch, ND).

Out of the ethicals theories, I believe that Martin Luther King shares the same characteristic with Aristotle's Virtue ethics as well as Kant’s Duty ethics. Aristotle mentions that be virtuous, will make you happy. By practicing nonviolence, peace Martin Luther King is practicing virtue. Kant argues to do what's right no matter what. Even though in situations it may have called for violence, Martin Luther King practiced Kant’s duty ethics and he was able to follow through with his nonviolence technique.

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In my humble opinion, many aspects make a great person but it takes special qualities to make a great leader. For example, you have to be courageous. Throughout history, the great leaders in history have had courage. Martin Luther King Jr had the courage to stand up to unjust behavior during the 1950s and the 1960s. It was very scary to be an African American during that time. However, it is when the situation is scary that great leaders develop. Although he was not able to reap the benefits of his sacrifices Martin Luther King’s courageous acts will live on for centuries to come. Another quality that I feel makes a great leader is being understanding, some may argue that in some situations that you should not be understanding, however, if you are understanding both sides of a story you will be able to make more of an impact. Martin Luther King Jr practiced nonviolence, similar to Gandhi, and he did not show any anger towards anyone, and I feel this is why he is more popular than Malcolm X. Passion makes a great leader as well, you can have all the great traits of a leader but if you do not have the passion necessary anyone is going to believe in your vision. For example, when Martin Luther King jr, people were amazed at the passion he showed during his speeches.

Dr. King Utilized his charisma, and inspirational tactics to change the views and beliefs of a nation and to lead his people throughout the course of the civil rights movement. His personality consisted of every good characteristic needed of a leader, he was sensible at all times, and he ability to clearly state his ideas and thoughts surrounding peace and equality in the United States. These were other rights movements going on at the same time that Dr. King was leading peaceful rights movements. The Black Panthers and other militant groups, some under Malcolm X’s philosophy, often time would question King’s leadership. King spoke in an eloquent matter and his ability to persuade and inspire is rivaled by none. Martin Luther King Jr lived an exemplary life and although it culminated in his assassination, the strides that Dr. King made for the civil rights movement and his numerous speeches that inspired a nation such as “ I have a dream “ speech, should never be forgotten nor ignored. The “ I have a dream speech” is one of the most powerful speeches ever had and is the main focus of the life of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr had a dream. A dream of freedom, of complete brotherhood, the true American dream, the dream of full equality. King was one of history’s most influential leaders of racial justice. His political philosophy and strong beliefs helped lead our nation to the racial justice we have today.

King speaks of the American dream in almost every speech. This American dream is a dream of total equality, a society in which whites and blacks could live side by side, work together, fight together, and attend school together His most famous speech was his dream. The “I Have a Dream” speech was given on August 28, 1963, by the Lincoln Memorial. (217 Dream). The entire nation came to plead for justice and freedom. Both black and white men and women gathered here on this day to hear King's plea. To start this speech, King refers to the “founding fathers” and their plea for freedom.

“ But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free, one hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity, one hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. (217 dreams)

King makes this statement with such power, he shows that yes America did get its freedom, yet it has taken away the freedom from a certain race. On this day they have gathered at the nation’s capital to gain their rights. King compares this demonstration as coming to cash a check. The check of freedom is well due. (217 dreams). When the great leaders wrote the constitution and the declaration of independence they were signing a promise, a promise to freedom. Blacks have not yet received their right. In a sense, their check has been returned, marked insufficient funds. (217 dreams) King refused to believe this, he knows that the nation can “cash” their check, he knows that they can give them their rights and freedoms. They are here to demand their rights, and there is no better time, and the Negro can wait no longer. (218 dreams). This time is urgent, for if freedom is not given soon the Negro will come violently. This is the time to become all brothers in the nation. (218 dreams). King believes that if this nation does not grant these rights to the Negro’s it will be fatal. This will not pass and this is not man just “blowing off smoke. “ This is the time for freedom and it must happen now. (218 dreams).

Previous to the magnificent “Dream” speech, Martin Luther King was involved and instrumental in many other significant demonstrations throughout the civil rights movement. The sit-in movement had many serious implications and achievements for the civil rights movement. The sit-in movement had many serious implications and achievements for the civil rights movement. The sit-ins began by college students who would sit in restaurants and refuse to leave until served. Starting in February 1960, the sit-ins began in Greensboro, North Carolina, and continued throughout the nation. The sit-ins were always peaceful movements where those participating neither provoke nor attack any of those white people eating in restaurants. In Atlanta, there was a department store that was largely known to be a key segregation point.

After the legendary speech, King continued to remain loyal to the civil rights movement and continued to inspire his fellow companions in their quest for the elimination of discrimination. He never ceased fighting the good fight until the terrible day of Apr 4, 1968. King, while in Memphis leading a movement of the sanitation workers against terrible conditions in the workplace, was assassinated. Interestingly, this was not even an issue of racial discrimination, but the king was for freedom and equality in all forms, no matter if it is race, gender, age, or occupational. As he finished up his inspirational sermon, he was shot by James Earl Ray. After King’s Murder, James Earl Ray was sentenced to serve a prison time of 99 years. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was buried close to his center for Nonviolent Social Change and in 1980, almost 12 years after his death, the United States Department of the Interior created a historic site to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King lived a life unlike a single other people ever. His beliefs, convictions, and actions were those of a distinguished man full of extraordinary character and a sense of ambition that would never quit. He did not classify his desire for freedom to only those involved in racial prejudice, but also to the religious hatred and prejudice that overwhelmed not only our nation but the entire world. King was always confident that through his actions and demonstrations that his wishes and dreams could be met. King’s legacy and memory will live on throughout eternity and even after his life was ended by assassination, he was still influential and inspirational to the nation and the numbers of hate crimes and the random acts of discrimination decreased largely. What truly set the king apart from others his ability to remain calm, yet forceful, peaceful, and yet still full of vigor. He believed in peace and harmony to be given to every one of the people living in the world and he made his best attempt to help enlighten other people to end prejudice and discrimination. In only 39 years, the short time that King was alive brought a nation’s entire focus on the issue of civil rights in America. There is still discrimination in many areas of the country. King has changed the course of events of the civil rights movement. There is much less discrimination than there was before King’s influence. 

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