On this date, he not only inspired the Negro race, he inspired a Nation. He inspired far on beyond his audience of 200,000 and his speech is still inspiring to many this day. His speech call for equality, freedom, and peace for the Negro race. The speech was center-piece of a hard fought battle of the Negro race. Such battles like the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Rides, and Martin Luther King Jar’s arrest. Such events lead up to the March on Washington where King gave his famous speech.
This ammos speech turned into the defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. The Montgomery Bus Boycott wasn’t the start of the racial battle, but it is the first large scale demonstration. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give her seat up for a white passenger. This lead to the arrest of Parks. She was later convicted on disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. After word of this incident broke, 50 African-Americans organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They demanded a bus system in which passengers would be treated equally. After the city rejected this demanded, the boycott started. % of the African Americans in Montgomery partook in this boycott. The boycott lasted until a federal court ordered bus desegregation. The Boycott lasted 381 days. During the Boycott, the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association came a large. The president turned out to be Martin Luther King, Jar. King at the time was a Baptist minister and his role in the boycott attracted national attention for him. His American idealism and his Christian belief created a positive image on both the North and the South. A couple of years later, another event became the talking point of the Civil Rights Movement.
This event was Freedom Rides. They were Journeys taken by the Civil Right activists through the Deep South. The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4, 1961. The mission proved to be very dangerous because the first bus was firebombed, forcing passengers to run for their lives. Another attempt on May 24, 1961 failed because they were arrested for breaching the peace. Most of the arrest took place in Jackson, Mississippi. By the end of the summer, more than 300 riders were in Jail. The riders were treated very poorly. They crammed into eve filthy and tiny cells and sporadically beaten.
They were forced to do hard labor in 100 degree heat. All of this suffering lead to Interstate Commerce Commission. The rule allowed passengers to seat were they pleased, black or white. It also but an end to separate water fountains, toilets, and waiting rooms. Later in the Civil Right Movement, another event took the headlines. The event was the Birmingham Campaign. The campaign took place in 1963 and used a variety of nonviolent methods. This methods included kneel-ins at local churches and a march to the county building. However, the march lead to a mass arrest of its supporters.
The city was convinced the order was unconstitutional. King was among the supporters arrested. While King was in Jail, he wrote a very famous letter. The letter was titled “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. This letter was a response to 8 local clergymen who criticized the campaign. In the letter, King called into question the clergy’s charge of impatience. He questioned their meaning of “Wait”. King wrote “This Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never’. He also stated “When you are forever testing a degenerating sense to ‘knob oddness – ‘ then you will understand why we tint it difficult to wait”.
The letter turned into a very intelligent piece of writing and shows how smart King really is. Later in 1963, the March of Washington took place. On August 28, more than 200,000 demonstrators gathered in Washington D. C. To perform this march. The march called for the right to vote, full and fair employment, meaningful civil rights laws, and adequate integrated education for the African- Americans. The march turned into a huge success. The more than 200,000 people gathered in front of Lincoln Monument to hear Martin Luther King give his famous speech “l Have a Dream”.
The speech that King delivered on August 28, 1963 was a masterpiece of rhetoric. King does a number of things in the speech to make it very impressive. He invokes the United States Constitution, and Declaration of Independence. He brings up Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address and talks about the abolition of slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation. Early in the speech, he talks to his audience about seizing the moment. King repeated “Now is the time” four times. He also repeats “l have a dream” and “Let freedom ring” eight times. These part of the speech were very heavily emphasized as well.
The speech questions of the Nation’s beliefs in freedom and Justice in all. King says the promises made by America as a “promissory note” and that by marching to Washington, they have “come to cash this check”. The speech was widely considered the high point of the Civil Right Movement across the nation. A New York Times writer, James Restore, said “DRP. King touched all the themes of the day, only better than anybody else. He was full of the symbolism of Lincoln and Gandhi, and the cadences of the Bible”. But the speech didn’t only impressive writers across America, it impressed the Kennedy administration.
Kennedy watched Kings speech and was very impressed. He sent an invitation to the March leaders to come visit the White House and meet himself. Kennedy felt the march was a right move his civil right bill. Martin Luther Kings speech was the center point of the Civil Rights Movement. It tied everything together, from the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the Freedoms Rides. Kings intelligence and his very impressive ability to write lead to a great speech. Also, his urgency and speaking ability made him the most important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement.