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I Have a Dream - Class 12 Heritage of words

I Have a Dream       Martin Luther King, Jr. 



‘I Have a Dream’ is an unforgettable speech delivered by civil right campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. He delivered the speech on August 28 at Lincoln Memorial on the occasion of the centennial of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. In this speech, he emphasized equality and justice. In course of the speech, he criticized the policy of segregation and discrimination as well as the necessity for launching the non-violent movement. According to the speaker, despite the proclamation made by Lincoln in 1863 to free the Negro slaves, they were still victims of segregation and discrimination. Also they were obliged to lead their lives in poverty and still they were deprived of freedom. According to him, the black people in America found themselves as exile. He argued that the constitution and declaration of independence guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However this kind of promissory note was found to be invalid. The speaker admitted that the court of justice also refused to do justice to the black people in this regard.
The speaker insisted on fierce urgency for the implementation of the constitution. He argued that it was not the time to think about gradualism. Instead it was the right time to put on end to segregation and the racial injustice. He pointed out that it was the time for implementing the promises of democracy with equal opportunity to all. Irrespective of sex, race etc. Further he referred to the determination of the black people with a tone of warning. He also warned that this discontent would continue until they would achieve freedom and equality. According to him, there would be neither rest nor peace till their demands were accomplished.
He also advised his followers not to be guilty of wrongful deeds. They should think of achieving the freedom through discipline and dignity. He suggested they should fight with soul force without distrusting all the white people. Later, he criticized the police brutality and said that there would be no satisfaction so long as the black were suppressed and oppressed. He encouraged his followers by saying that their unearned suffering would be redemptive. Finally he admitted that he dreamt of an ideal American society where there would be a sense of brotherhood between the white and the black and expressed his hope that all the discords would be converted into the symphony of brotherhood. He also instructed his followers to go back to their places with optimistic message of the change in the situation. His speech ends with a note that the song of freedom will echo and reecho from each and every nook and cranny of America.

Important Questions from I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.
Short Answer Questions

1. What is Martin Luther King complaining about? [2063] 2. What is the real dream of Martin Luther King about the future of America? [2065, 2067] 3. To what extent does King’s personal authority lend power to his words? [2066] 


Long Answer Questions

1. What is the historical significance of Martin Luther King’s speech? [2057] 2. What is the dream Martin Luther King Jr. has? How is he going to achieve it? [2061] 3. Argue in favor of some course of action in a situation that you consider an injustice. Racial injustice is one possible area, or unfairness to any minority, or to women, children, the old, ex-convicts, the handicapped, the poor. If possible narrow subject to a particular incident or a local situation on which you can write knowledgeably. [2061 4. Describe the dream which Martin Luther King had in his speech ‘I have a Dream’. [2068] 5. Discuss ‘I have a Dream’ as a plea for freedom and equality. [2069]
Glossary: [emphasize: to show that something really needs attention, segregation: separation of a group from another, deprive: to take something away, exile: when someone has to leave their home and live in another country, unalienable: not to be given away, pursuit: when you try to achieve a plan, activity or situation, fierce: strong, powerful, dignity: calm and serious behavior, brutality: violent and cruel, suppressed: to stop someone by using force, oppressed: treated in an unfair way, redemptive: improving, discords: disagreement, symphony: a long piece of music, nook & cranny: something remote, (कुना-कुना)]

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