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Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

I HAVE A DREAM! In an era when racial discrimination and public bigotry towards African Americans in the United States was becoming more evident, this simple, but powerful statement by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a beacon of hope for all African Americans in the country. In his speech, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King expresses his frustration that after a hundred years since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans are still treated like second-class citizens. However, Dr. King also expresses his hope that the status quo will change and African Americans around the country will be “free at last.” Dr. King uses eloquent statements to appeal to his audience’s emotions and
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“We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways or the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing to vote for. We can never be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Furthermore, Dr. King makes use of hyperbole, metaphor to stress his express his views to the audience. He states that it would be detrimental to the growth of the nation if it were to ignore the complaints of its citizens or to deny them of their civil rights. “It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.” His use of metaphor appeals to the common man’s logic that the great bank (the nation) has defaulted in cashing a check (personal liberties and freedoms). “In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights"
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