Civil War: Speech Of Martin Luther King And Its Impact

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 Martin Luther King, Jr was the leader of the civil rights movement in the United States. He dedicated his life to the struggle for racial equality of African Americans. In August 28th, 1963, King gave one of his most influencing speeches entitled “I Have A Dream.” The speech was a critical step toward civil rights movement because without it, King’s opinions of freedom and equality would never reach the hearts of his people, and they would never stand up as a whole to defend themselves. The accomplishments Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s improved the economic conditions of African Americans, fostered economic growth in the United States, and helped to advance democracy within the society.

Primarily, the speech was given publicly to a huge number of audiences of both live and televised. King was fully aware that in order to let his audience to favour his point of view, he has to be sensitive to them in every possible way. First of all, King demonstrated sensitivity by selecting a universal topic racial rights and freedom. This was an issue not only to the black community, but also to rest of the world. Furthermore, King tried to approach his audience through their emotions. He described his vivid dreams in which blacks and whites are able to live together in harmony and peace. The audience were obviously deeply touched by these images, and they could all imagine what a new and joyous world they could be living in. King successfully achieved his emotive purpose through these words, and bonded with the hearts of his audience.

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In his speech, in order to back up his basic structure King uses rhetorical appeals, one of which is pathos, or the appeal of utilizing human emotions, by making his audience no longer hate Negroes and instead hate racism. King tries his best in the speech to make the audience sympathize with the Negroes, dislike racism and then be filled with hope of a new world without racism by using strong adjectives and metaphors. For example, King constantly describes the Negroes as being “crippled” by the manacles of segregation and chains of discrimination. Through this, King makes the audience feel that the Negroes are in great calamity; as if the Negroes had committed a crime and have to be restrained, something which King emphasizes on when he compares the situation of the Negroes as to being stranded on a “lonely island of poverty” while everybody else around them are indulging in a “ocean of material prosperity.” Later, King then aims to make the audience hate racism by giving them a metaphor – that racism is a “dark and desolate valley” while racial justice is a “sunlit path.” It results in the audience first realizing that their society is in that dark and desolate valley then thinking that without racism, the American society could then climb onto the sunlit path of racial justice.

Throughout his speech, King does this again and again, such as writing that black children are stripped of their selfhood and dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only” and that black people are judged by the colour of their skin instead of the content of their character. This all serves to make the audience feel ashamed of racism. Finally, King paints a picture of his vision and hope in the audience’s mind by repeating “I have a dream”. Overall, King effectively uses pathos in his speech, guiding the audience’s feelings to go along his plans and making them sympathize with Negroes, hate racism, and be filled with a hope of an equal world. King has made history with the movement that he lead and changed millions of people’s minds in more ways than one.

Racism is still relevant today in society. Although it may not be as harsh as it once was, there are still people out there who have not changed their ways on how they view others. There have been multiple cases that reveal why racism still exist in today’s society. A prime example is white cops dealing with African Americans. There have been multiple deaths of blacks from white officers. The reasoning for this is because blacks have been stereotyped to be violent and irrational. In situations where a white officer is dealing with a black person, the officer will be more aware and will at times jump to conclusions just because the officer is dealing with a black person. In Texas, there have been a few cases of white police officers murdering black teens due to the fact that they thought they were in “danger”. The slightest gestures made the cop pull his trigger, but if it were a white person instead, it most likely would have been a different story. It’s not just blacks who agree that this is true. Other races as well as some whites say the same thing. It’s a recurring issue and needs to be fixed.

Films have also played a big part into changing racism. Not only are people trying to fix racism in everyday life but there are those who share their message through the art of film. A recent movie was released called, The Hate U Give. Long story short, a black kid was killed by a white police officer. The main character, Starr Carter, must face the pressure and stand up for what is right. She has to use her voice to be heard so that she can make a difference when no one else will. Tillman, the director, has an astounding touch for impactful scenes to reach to the people. This film is very clear in its message towards racism in society and does an esteem job to portray it in an inspirational cinematic view. The reason that a movie will impact others more substantially is because its more appealing than sitting through a speech. Most humans are able to feel a connection if they are able to see it visually as it happens watch the characters develop. Racism will continue to be relevant until it completely disappears from each and every person.

Over the past five decades after the civil rights movement has been established there have been numerous benefits that followed this act. It helped bring about profound changes in American education. Millions of students were given educational opportunities that they were once denied of. Countless barriers that once prevented women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities from freely choosing education opportunities and careers the would like to pursue now have been eliminated. The dropout rate of African Americans have drastically decreased and high school graduation rates have increased substantially. Statistics have also shown that SAT scores increased across almost all race/ethnic groups following the approval of the civil rights law. As for children with disabilities, there have been millions that are now served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law has made the difference between exclusion and participation, between dependence and independence, between lost potential and learning for those who suffer from a disability. Education is not the only thing that has played apart in this act. Nowadays there are no racial barriers for restaurants, voting rights, and general facilitated areas have been been remarkably changed for the better.

Not only did it affect education for those who couldn’t receive it before, but also affected age and gender in positive ways. By removing the age barriers, there was twice the amount of people over the age of 35 going back to college to finish their degree or potentially to get one from the ground up. About a third of the graduates would be over the age of 40 when graduation came. For gender, there has been an increase of women participating in sports during their school careers. Today, there are about 125,000 women participating in intercollegiate athletics. This represents four times as much since the 1970s. With the increase of newly added women sports, it led to new facilities being made which in return made more revenue for the university. Not only was there a significant rise when it came to sports, but also about 40% of faculty at colleges and universities were women.

Although there are many benefits that followed the civil rights movement, it is not the end of racism. Although the March was a resounding success, many bleak segregationists throughout the nation were not moved in any way. They continued their inhuman acts against Negroes. To the vast majority of the people who participated in the March, it may seem like it was a complete success but the bitter reality was, it was just another step in an ongoing battle for freedom. There may be significantly less racism throughout America but it’s not completely gone by any means. There are those who are not willing to change in their beliefs of racism no matter how much exposure they recieve; it’s deeply rooted in their core. Then there are those who like to cause uproar and choose to be racist towards others because that’s what they have decided. It’s natural in society for there to be people who fight for the cause and those who want to rebel against it.

A solution to this issue would be to change culture. In the past racism was a big part in civilization, therefore it was in people’s culture to begin with which was passed on generation after generation. People have to change what is acceptable in society. As kids, some were taught about the stereotypes of other races and grew up into believing what they had learned. The only way to change that is to expose them to different races and allow them to experience those types of people first hand. Everything that a person is exposed to gives them a message of who is good and bad. Those who are not willing to engage first hand on what it’s like in different cultures then their perspective will never change. What needs to happen is for there to be an integrated society, and at the same time a need to create as much socio economic fairness as much as possible. This will ensure the relationship people have are egalitarian relationships. That’s the one thing which can create trust between people on each side of an, us-them divide and in the long run reduce prejudice.

In conclusion, I’ve talked about the history how the civil rights movement came about, how it relates in society today, the consequences and benefits, and how to resolve the issue. Racism is something that will not disappear anytime soon. Racism will evolve overtime and continues to be a major issue in humanity. Martin Luther King Jr. was an exceptional person to lead the civil right movement and changed the nation for the better.  


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