On August 28 1963, the one hundred anniversary of president Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation, Reverend Martin Luther King delivered the now famous “I have a Dream” speech at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Dr. King wasn’t just a man who gave a speech. He was a man with a dream and in that dream, he set a tone that would ring in America for the rest of history. This speech brought to the minds of many inattentive American’s a previously unknown civil rights orator, speaking of truths of racial discrimination and inequality in a manner that could no longer be easily ignored. This speech would ring true in America from that point forward because of its direct, truthfulness ease and the obvious reality with it described from the personal perspective of African Americans. The 1960s was a pivotal period in American history. Social crises were being reached on a number of levels, including the increasing skepticism over American involvement in Southeast Asia.
Civil rights issues were becoming prominent as Negros were increasingly aware of growing injustice in an country which claimed that “all men were created equal.” Dr. King helped us open our eyes in order to set not only the blacks from being inferior to whites, but as equals. They saw, from Dr. King, that the reality was far from the profession. Dr. King was a man with many goals in life. He started his educational goal by attending Atlanta University Laboratory School and Booker T. Washington High School. Because of his high score on the college entrance tests in his junior year of high school, he went on to Morehouse College without formal graduation from Booker T. Washington. Having skipped both the ninth and twelfth grades, Dr. King entered Morehouse at the age of fifteen. In 1948, he graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelors degree in Sociology. That fall, he enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
While attending Crozer, he also studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected president of the senior class and delivered the valedictory address, he won the Pearl Plafker Award for the most outstanding student, and he received the J. Lewis Crozer fellowship for graduate study at a university of his choice. He was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer in 1951. In September of 1951, Martin Luther King began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University. He also studied at Harvard University. His Ph.D. degree from Boston, a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology, was awarded on June 5, 1955. Logos comes from “the word of God” or “principle of divine reason and creative order, identified in the Gospel of John when the second person of the trinity incarnate in Jesus Christ.” When Dr. King decided to use rhetoric in his speech, God truly did have a hand in what played out on August 28, 1963.
Dr. King didn’t use the newspaper and the radio to tell this non-fictitious story; he used personal experiences, what he saw and he didn’t ever look at the color of the skin but at person inside excluding the race. When Dr. King says “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” He’s saying its been 100 years and we still don’t have what we have been promised. The rights for African Americans were installed in this nations hard drive 100 years prior but the program never ran. The United States disproved these inalienable rights to the black community because the US didn’t like change and this was a momentous change for the country. We were trying to delay it as long as we could but no man woman or child should ever be denied there rights all because of ones opinion of someone’s skin regardless of what rank in society.
Ethos comes from the Latin word “character” used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. July 4th 1776 the now famous document called “The Declaration of independence” was written declaring our independence and freedom, white or black, from King George III. It is stated in the first paragraph, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Government’s are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of theses, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
When men signed the Declaration, our founding fathers made this document that was the stepping-stone of this newfound world that we call America, a stepping-stone for equality, love, compassion for every man woman and child who took a step on the land. President Lincoln, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, President Kennedy all died so that this document made by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston and signed by 56 men who believed that this would be a new era of a true honest beginning. Last but not least Pathos, pathos which means “suffering, experience and emotion”. Dr. King used something in his speech called anaphora, which means that he used a word more than once to really gather the readers or audiences attention. He uses this a lot when he says “But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.
One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.” Dr. King wants to grab that attention and hold it to show not only white people but black people that one hundred years later “the negro is still not free.”
We were so imbedded with idea that white is so very superior, right and justice and African Americans are so much less than that and deserve so very little because we saw every little bit of information through adults and our environments. African Americans have suffered for to long and while reading or hearing Dr. King’s speech my heart torn to a white citizen because of how more than half of the white community could actually allow this to really take place but I applaud the ones who gave there whole heart and soul to make this country filled with more equality than inequality.
Dr. King highlights what Logos, Ethos and Pathos truly mean throughout his speech. When he spoke about logos we could see inside the heart of Dr. King his beliefs morals, and who really was as a man. Ethos we saw how he brought to surface the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These two documents was their check and when they went to cash this check it read “insufficient funds.” Pathos was when Dr. King used words like “I have a dream, A hundred years later, and Freedom Ring” over and over to shed that emotion and torment that they as a people all experienced. There is an old African Proverb that is my absolute favorite quote “if there is no enemy within the enemies outside can do you no harm” only when we learn to turn the other cheek like Dr. King said than we can only be truly free.