Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is arguably the most important and well known speech of the twentieth century. The speech was delivered at the March on Washington in 1963. It voiced the economic, political, and moral message of civil rights to a quarter million individuals in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Onto those people and the billions that have seen or heard it since, Dr. King’s words imprinted an image of what African Americans were fighting for and their motivations for doing so. The speech was given one-hundred years after Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation and yet the treatment of African Americans in the community was repulsive. Dr. King’s speech was a noteworthy breakthrough in American history that solidified the foundation to the start of equality in America. The speech challenged the beliefs of the majority of Americans during the sixties and is still impacting our country today. Dr. King’s speech, while initially targeting activists amid the equal rights movement, continues to influence American beliefs about and attitudes toward a more equal society. After listening to the speech, I find myself motivated to take action in my community. His request for all individuals regardless of color, gender, or social status was to come together as a community and to build a more peaceful society. Most individuals attending the event were in full support of Dr. King’s request, but there was opposition towards change. I believe the people in our community must be reminded of Dr. King’s powerful words and apply these to our current struggles. The base of King’s reasoning is his recognition of the worth of every human being. Dr. King accepts that every individual intrinsically deserves respect. Dr. King stresses that every individual has equal worth and that all people deserve to be treated with this respect. Dr. King explains that the population values communication and companionship between one another, and that this can simply be achieved by creating an inclusive community. He fought for solidarity within the community by influencing individuals to take action. For Catholics, the journey for fellowship is our superior objective. Catholic teachings call for all individuals to love one another and come together in order to share the love of God. Dr. King establishes that the inability to love others and to treat them fairly is, in actuality, an inability to be a complete human being. Dr. King’s philosophy is very important in our community. There is a great amount of hatred in our country. If everyone lived through the words of Dr. King’s speech, I believe the country would be safer, more peaceful, and more successful. I believe that God was speaking through Dr. King as he was giving his speech. Throughout his speech, he called for us to come together and love one another. His speech sounds extremely similar to passages in the Bible. The call for peace, love, and fellowship is directly related to our mission as Catholics. I believe that the activists within the crowd were able to recognize Dr. King’s request and compare it to their duty as a human being. After watching the speech, I noticed that it was very similar to a Catholic mass. Dr. King was facing the crowd with the Lincoln Memorial directly behind him much like an alter in a church. He gave a speech that pushed people to think about the message and apply it in their lives much like a homily. I believe the gathering was very similar to a mass because it allowed for everyone to come together as a community and reflect on our calling as human beings. I believe that there is still a problem with treating all individuals equally in our community. It has been made obvious by the tragedies that have been broadcasted in the media. The words of Dr. King still resonate in my mind and I think of the ways that we could apply his philosophy to our world today. It is disappointing that we still have not completely accomplished Dr. King’s dream. Listening to the speech has caused me to reflect on the aspects of my life that might not support his dream and to explore ways that I can better the community. Despite everything, we long for a day when a man’s skin color will matter as much as their eye color, where unjustifiable separation based on ethnicity will appear to be senseless and foreign. I feel that I have learned the power of words. Dr. King was able to influence an entire population to take action and stand up for their beliefs. I do believe that he changed our country by delivering his speech and leading society to change. 

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