"I HAVE A DREAM" speech analysis

Essay by brushrop03College, Undergraduate April 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.8

Segregation can be defined as the legal or social practice of separating a group of people based on their race. After the Second World War, a racial caste system designed to keep the black population in a position of inferiority was perfected by the Southern states. The black population was segregated and discriminated against by white Americans. The lives of the black population were often worse than they were before being freed. African-Americans were sent to different schools than whites, weren't allowed to sit and eat with whites, and couldn't even sit at the front of the bus because it was reserved for whites. The promise made by Abraham Lincoln a hundred years before that time was still unfulfilled; the promise for equality, peace, freedom, justice, and brotherhood that was guaranteed by President Lincoln in his January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. In 1896, "the Supreme Court by a vote of eight to one in the case of Plessy v.

Ferguson upheld the right of the South to segregate its facilities, transport, and education on the basis of race so long as they were separate but equal." Separate but equal? African-Americans were not treated as equals. They were given second rate education, minimum wage job opportunities, and they were often beaten and killed by racist white extremist such as the Ku Klux Klan.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., along with other leaders of the Civil Rights movement, rose to the occasion to help make this so-called "great nation" into a nation that was worthy of being called great by bringing together the white and black populations of the nation into one unified body. His "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered on the centennial of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on August 28, 1963 as the keynote addresses of...