The Impacts of Martin Luther Speech on Social Issues

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'I have a Dream Speech' remains one of the famous speeches in American history as blacks sought freedom. The fight against discrimination on basis of race and color was ripe in the 1950s and early 1960s, this is despite the ruling that barred any discrimination whatsoever in the nation, the blacks still faced the high level of discrimination in the nation.

For instance, the blacks were not allowed to use the same lanes as whites, eat in the same restaurants, attend the same schools as the whites and they even in the public vehicles they had not to seat while the blacks stand, in such situations they had to leave their seats for the whites even if they are kids. Therefore, such discrimination and injustices such as unnecessary punishments, and injustice murder of the black population in America led to an uprising and Martin`s speech acted as an epitome for change and hope for the blacks (Staley p. 63).

The civil rights movement in America was the largest social movement in the 20th century in the world. The movement influenced the women rights movement and the students` rights movement in the year 1960s. Luther saw in these movements a potential avenue to empower the black community and he thus used the skills and knowledge that he had acquired in Germany and as a leader of the protestant church to inspire the black population. In this case, the movement addressed three primary issues of discrimination, these are education, voting rights, and social segregation.

The blacks were discriminated on some of the most important issues that one should not be ignored on. For instance, the issue of voting, it's a right for all individuals to participate in the exercise. However, for the case of the blacks, they deliberately denied voting on grounds of various unrealistic reasons. These are such as they don't know to write and thus could not be able to a successful vote in the right way (Dunkel p.23). Besides that, they also argued that they don't know how to read which would further complicate their chances of voting. This was abroad day robbery of the rights of the black as no one should be denied to vote. In such cases, the blacks had rights for civic education in which they would have been educated on the most appropriate way that they can vote and choose the leader of their own choice.

Besides that, by the fact that they were denied the rights to education also speaks volume. The whites were determined to ensure that the black American population remains in darkness with no hope of being enlightened on their rights and be able to compete with them favorably in various places and offices. Besides, those schools that were allocated to be for the blacks were mostly the public schools which had not enough resources that would ensure these students acquire some of the most useful skills that would be helpful in their lives later. This was a mechanism of fighting the empowerment of the blacks; they had to endure and remain second-hand citizens in their own country for as long as possible before they understood their rights and fought for their freedom.

The speech gave hope to the 25000 people that gathered at Washington on March 28, 1963. The references to the country`s founding fathers and the Bible by the young black leader gave hope to the black society. By early 1960s there were already mass movements and demonstrations that had put many of these people at risk. However, with the speech, there was an increase in public meetings such as the Birmingham Campaign in 1963 in which Luther also gave a fascinating and motivating speech that was dubbed 'Letter from Birmingham'. As a result, together with other vocal leaders, Luther became a force to reckoning due to the masses that he attracted.

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Martin was aware of the fact that in such cases where the oppressor was such powerful with tools that could wipe out the blacks in American society; he must be wise when leading the blacks. Therefore, using his religious beliefs he successfully advocated for the rights of the blacks by educating them on their rights in which the legislative lobbying and litigation that had caused the first unrests not being successful were replaced with a more direct approach than would a direct impact on the economy of the nation. He sought to use boycotts, marches, walks, freedom rights, and sit-ins that that led to mass actions whereby the impact was easily noticed without having harmed or destroyed anything (Dunkel p. 48).

The economy was affected and the investors feared for their investments and the government officials felt that it was about time that the blacks were given their freedom as continued unrest would mean more harm to the economy. This is because there no workers for the industries, factories as these blacks were heavily used as unskilled laborers in these industries. Besides that, they also boycotted some products which led to the nation feeling the heat on their economy as their market consumption was also relevant in the economy of the nation.

His strong belief in nonviolent protest gave hope to the black citizens; it set the tone for the civil movements in American society. Boycotts, matches, and protests were eventually fruitful. Various individuals suffered due to the protests, boycotts, and matches but they never gave up. The voice acted as a liberator for the blacks in American society. Therefore, with sheer determination, they all ganged up and carried out massive peaceful demonstrations in various cities which later bore fruits with the charges against blacks being made lenient. However, the fight against discrimination never ended until they achieved their goals (Kirk p. 76).

The blacks became enlightened and understand their rights through these campaigns and public speeches made by prominent leaders such as Walter Reuther of United Auto Workers (UAW), James Farmer and John Lewis. As a result, they began to boycott discrimination rules that barred the blacks from accessing some facilities and services. This brought about heavy unrest in the United States of America and eventually the ruling class and the judiciary gave in to the pressure leading to an end of discrimination cases in America. The 'dream' had been achieved albeit Luther himself succumbing on the bullets of assassin earlier on.

This must have been tough times for the African American people to live in such a hostile environment. It's within everyone`s knowledge that no one determines where he/she is born, therefore, the fact that these descendants of slaves in America had to face such inhumane activities does not make sense at all. Slavery had long been abolished by President Lincoln which rendered all individuals in America equal. However, with the cases of discrimination, the blacks were treated as second class citizens that did not deserve equal services as the whites. Therefore, this indeed called for mass action and the need for change before things became worse (King, p. 12).

Besides that, the living conditions for the blacks were also poor. What makes this sad is the fact that they had to live as second-hand citizens in the country that they had found themselves in after their forefathers had been forced into slavery. However, with the ban of slavery and being with limited skills to apply for executive jobs in factories and industries meant that they had to settle for less in society. Besides that, discrimination exhibited during this period could not allow blacks to get a well-paying job. As a result, they had to settle for less in society, limited access to medical services, settled in poor and devastating hoods as they were separated from the rich whites.

Martin Luther`s tone which was characterized with a heavy hitter on the basic and important needs that the blacks were denied and thus being subjected to poverty was actually what the blacks required. The tone that sought to acquire justice and freedom for the blacks using nonviolent means, as a result, the tone became the driving factor in various civil movements and protests between the 1950s and 1960s. It's this nonviolent means of fighting for justice that the American government needed to heed for the call of freedom among the blacks (Kirk p. 25). This is because the use of force would have resulted into more deaths and suffering for the black American population, as the government saw no value from them and it would have not hesitated in firing live bullets on them.

However, with the increased discrimination such that the blacks were second to the dogs, it meant that something had to be done. The emergence of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. acted as a ray of hope for the blacks. They saw a revolution in these young leaders, and their quest for freedom was ultimately in owing (Martin Luther King, p.36). Therefore, with the speech and the mass movements that were organized as from the 1950s to mid-1960s, the black American population finally obtained their freedom with the ruling made to abolish discrimination in the American soil. The dream had been achieved, under devastating consequences as many lost their lives, property and American economic was at its death bed.

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