I Have a Dream Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 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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Martin Luther King Jr. greets the crowd assembled at the Lincoln Memorial by expressing his joy over the turnout for "the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation." He refers to Abraham Lincoln, in whose "symbolic shadow" the crowd is gathered. Lincoln was responsible for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, thus freeing American slaves from "the long night of their captivity." However, King continues, black Americans are far from free one hundred years later. Segregation, discrimination, poverty, and mar-ginalization remain realities for black Americans in the 1960s, and it is for the purpose of dramatizing this "shameful condition" that hundreds of thousands have gathered for the March on Washington.

He tells the crowd that they have come to the nation's capital to "cash a check" that was promised to all men by the Declaration of Independence. All Americans, regardless of color, are heirs to the...

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This section contains 436 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Have a Dream Study Guide
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