Pathos In I Have A Dream Speech

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During the mid-twentieth century the United States was experiencing racism in extreme fashion. The most prominent race that was the brunt of most issues were African-Americans. Although all blacks were supposed free and equal it seemed as though we were functioning under a corrupt law system. Because of this, many tried to change the system in the form of civil rights movements and activist groups. One of the most notable activist was Martin Luther King Jr. He belonged to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference also known as the SCLC (Martin Luther King Jr. Biography). In the 1960’s he engaged in various civil rights boycotts and protests. Out of these protests and movements came the famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. The speech …show more content…
Using these two appeals, King is trying to convince the audience that white people have lied and broken their promises to black people. He states that the Declaration of Independence states that all men, regardless of race, are to be granted the same rights, but King goes on to say that even today America has not kept its promises. He refers to the situation as a bad check that has come back marked insufficient funds. With these words, he hopes to make whites feel uncomfortable about what they have done. An example of logos used by King is the references he makes to the Emancipation Proclamation. The very beginning of the speech he says “five score years ago Lincoln signed the Proclamation” that declared slaves free but instead of seeing an increase in equal rights, there has actually been a decrease (“I Have A Dream” speech). The reference made to Lincoln, one of the most well respected Americans in history is based on ethics and shows that he too supported the freeing of blacks and that everyone should start adopting the ideas of racial …show more content…
A time that made the lives of most blacks a living nightmare. His speech helped to change the times. His speech inspired a generation of hope and encouraged blacks to never give up. His words also made thousands of white Americans ashamed of their actions or lack of doing the right thing for all of mankind in pursuing a new start for an equal society. No doubt that the speech will remain moving as the content revealed an ugly truth about America but King’s effective use of appeals and other literary elements make this a masterpiece of epic

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