Martin Luther King Speech Evaluation

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Updated: Mar 31, 2023
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a powerful and influential civil rights activist during the 1960’s. He made a meaningful impact on the United States in upholding Abraham Lincoln’s end to slavery. He provided a very impactful speech that will give you cold chills and bring a tear to your eye even still to this day. The speech was about the freedom of African Americans from slavery, brotherhood, and a uniting a segregated nation. Dr. King Jr. addresses the country’s dilemma in a proud and moving way; giving us a speech to remember for generations.

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The speech has influenced many lives because there was strength in his verbal and nonverbal behaviors and word choice, influenced social normalities in it’s time period, has been used to advance other causes, and still has relevance in today’s world while influencing global perspective.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used many impactful verbal and nonverbal cues, as well as, meaningful word choices throughout his speech. One verbal cue is when he referred to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and mentioned that still 100 years later it has not rang true and African Americans are still struggling to live free lives. Dr. King made many nonverbal cues which included leaning in toward the microphone and raising his voice level to show his sincerity and the gravity of his speech. His meaningful word choices only heightened the level of dedication and determination of his efforts. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

The speech heavily influenced the social normalities and behaviors of the time period and still continues to do so to this day. In the 1960’s, when Dr. King made his address to a quarter of a million people in Washington, he made incredible impacts on society and impressive improvements to civil rights through his commitment to freedom. His endeavor paved the way for civil and economic rights in today’s society by ending racial discrimetories not only in the workplace but also in society as a whole. Today all races and ethnicities live freely in America because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held enough respect and regard to take a stand and dream for a truly united nation. Historically speaking, another positive influence the speech had was being used to advance other causes in the 1960’s. It made many possibilities in the United States regarding civil rights. It put some heavy momentum behind the civil rights movement, made a huge impact in reducing racism, and even allowed for the first African American to become a NFL player. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech made this all possible by bringing America to the realization that segregation and racial discriminations are morally and ethically wrong and no human should be treated differently because of the color of their skin.

Dr. King’s speech is still greatly relevant in today’s society and continues to influence global perspective. Although his efforts made enormous advancements in civil rights for the United States, discrimination never fully faded and America still struggles with racism in today’s society. In recent years, unfortunate events have created a new movement called “”Black Lives Matter. A movement to bring attention to racial profiling and African Americans injured or killed by white men seemingly overreacting. The movement has gained a lot of momentum and brought attention to civil rights in the 21st century. The speech has influenced global perspective by influencing Americans to be less discriminative to other countries, nations, and ethnic backgrounds. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. introduced a cohesive world less focused on race and more focused on one’s character and moral.

In conclusion, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech has not only opened the door for a substantial reduction in racism in our nation, but has escorted the idea of every person of different race, gender, ethnic background, and religion be treated the same and justly. Dr. King’s speech influences social normalities and behaviors of his time period, has been used to advance other causes and is still highly relevant in today’s world in influencing global perspective. Standing for integrity, respect, and diversity, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “”The time is always right to do what is right.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the rhetorical analysis in the I Have a Dream Speech?

In the I Have a Dream Speech, Martin Luther King Jr. employs various rhetorical devices to effectively communicate his message. He appeals to the emotions of the audience through pathos, uses logic and reasoning through logos, and establishes credibility through ethos. Additionally, he makes use of repetition as a rhetorical strategy to emphasize his key points.

What are the 3 main ideas in the I Have a Dream Speech?

The I Have a Dream Speech comprises three main ideas that Martin Luther King Jr. aims to convey. The first idea focuses on the necessity for equality of treatment among all individuals regardless of their race. The second idea deals with the significance of realizing personal aspirations. Lastly, King emphasizes the importance of collective efforts toward achieving both equality and aspirations.

How does Martin Luther King use rhetoric in his speech?

Martin Luther King employs various rhetorical strategies in his speech to convey his message effectively. He uses repetition, alliteration, and metaphorical language to emphasize his points and create a memorable impact. Additionally, he uses vivid imagery and emotional appeals to connect with his audience and inspire them to take action. Overall, his masterful use of rhetoric helps to make his speech a timeless masterpiece.

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Martin Luther King Speech Evaluation. (2020, Mar 03). Retrieved from