Martin Luther King made a speech on August 28, 1963 that has gone down in history as one of the signature speeches about the meaning of American life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Below are some excerpts from the speech.
In this excerpt from his speech, he tells his audience that nearly 100 years ago, after The United States Civil War, legalized slavery was abolished in America. Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to state that the end of legalized slavery has not brought about true equality for African-Americans. Listen to this excerpt from his speech:
In this next audio, a two-part excerpt of his speech, Dr. King implies that the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence of equality, liberty and freedom have not been granted to all American citizens, and he implores his audience that this is the time to take action so that these ideals may be realized by all citizens; African American citizens in particular.
In this audio clip, Dr. King makes it clear by repeating one phrase over and over that "now is the time" to call upon those who are able to ensure equal rights - for all - to do just that.
Martin Luther King uses his powers as a passionate preacher to stir the crowd to imagine a positive and productive America. He also is equating equal rights under the law as being as natural as waters running down a stream
This audio selection is probably the most memorable part of his speech, this "I have a dream" speech. Dr. King did not have this part of his speech written down. Several people close to him implored him to "tell your dream, Martin" (not an actual dream, but his vision and hope that he had told his friends before). So Dr. King dove into this without a script, and this is what he said:
Finally, as his speech draws to a close, Dr. King goes back to his spiritual roots. He also makes it about every American, of different geographical areas (yet he stresses the Southern region of America), and of different races and religions.