Where was the speech delivered? What is the audience Martin Luther King appeals to in his speech? What are the main claims of the speech?
Martin Luther King Jr, an American civil rights activist, delivered the speech on August 28th 1963. It was relayed during the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” in 1963. The speech addresses the need to end racism in the US and further explores the civil and economic rights of the oppressed in the US society. The speech was delivered before an audience that was estimated to contain over 250,000 civil right supporters. The steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was the place from which the speech was delivered. It is viewed as one of the defining moments of the American Civil Rights Movement.
It addresses the experiences that the non-Caucasian members of the society, especially the African-Americans, undergo in their daily lives. These include, but not limited to, exploitation and mistreatment and continued ethnocentric abuse. It appeals to the belief that the US was built as an avenue for freedom and justice to all its inhabitants. It further places these secular beliefs in an ecclesiastical context by insinuating that justice for each race is in line with what God wishes for. It seeks to provide absolution to the country for the crimes committed by racism. The speaker views the promises made by the founding fathers as a promissory note, which the present day society has defaulted on. King says in part the African- Americans have always been given a raw deal but the march in Washington, D.C is meant to remove all the bad blood present for future generations.