Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Of "I Have a Dream"

Yesterday I had to do a little research on what was probably the greatest speech ever delivered. I thought I'd share my findings.
The "I have a dream" speech  is 17 minutes long and was delivered by Martin Luther King on 28 August 1963 in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination.
But did you know? :
•     The “I have a dream” speech was originally called “Normalcy never again”
•     Delivered to over 200,000 civil right supporters the speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th Century
•     The civil rights march was such a logistical challenge that King and his colleagues had little time to prepare for the speech and some 12 hours before it was delivered none of them including King knew what the speech would contain.
•     While Dr. King began the speech reading from prepared text, he abandoned that mid-way through. The “I have a dream…” portion of the speech was improvised.
•     The speech refers to countless respected sources including : the Declaration of Independence the Emancipation Proclamation, Shakesbeare’s Richard III’s the United States Constitution, the Gettysburg address of Abraham Lincoln and of course the Bible.
•     The speech is famous for Anaphora – repetition of a phrase at the beginning of sentences. He repeats “Now is the time” four times and “ I have a dream”eight times.
•     President Kennedy was concerned that if the march failed to attract large numbers it might undermine his civil rights efforts. In fact it did the reverse and put more pressure on the Kennedy administration
•     In 1964 Martin Luther King became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

And ladies and gentleman lest we forget:

Every movement, every triumph, every success – big or small – starts with a dream. Every one of us can envisage a better world.  And every one of us can picture ourselves as a part of the solution, making the world a better place. What’s your dream? If you’re not sure, you don’t have time NOT to dream. This is your one and only life.

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