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I Have a Dream Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of I Have a Dream.
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Historical Overview

King and the Civil Rights Movement

Though black Americans had been struggling for equality and freedom since the rise of Jim Crow legislation at the end of the nineteenth century, the civil rights movement began in earnest with the use of civil disobedience, or the disregard for unjust laws. In 1955, African American Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger. Her subsequent arrest led to a boycott of the Montgomery bus system, organized in part by Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott lasted for thirteen months and resulted in the integration of the bus system.

In the wake of the success in Montgomery, black leaders formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) as a way to organize further social protests against segregation and racism in the South. King became a major figure and main spokesman for the SCLC as its...

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This section contains 1,273 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our I Have a Dream Study Guide
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I Have a Dream from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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