We’ve all heard of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963. It was a beacon of light and hope during a period of social strife, uncertainty, and change. Social context of the time aside, it remains a powerful piece of rhetoric in and of itself. Professor John R. Hale breaks this speech down line by line and shows how Dr. King crafted a successful inspirational speech using personal vision.

This free lecture excerpt comes from the course The Art of Public Speaking. Watch the rest of this course by visiting our website here:

Many people consider the “I Have a Dream” speech to be the pinnacle moment during the Civil Rights movement of the mid-20th century, kicked off by the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of 1954. However, the struggle to achieve racial equality in the United States began long before 1954, and involves countless thousands of individuals, many of whom will forever remain anonymous. MLK’s speech was one of many key points in a movement that has roots going back a full century, and involves figures who were also prominent in advocating for change and equality, but were much less publicized. Meet some of the unsung heroes of early Civil Rights such as Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington in the lecture “Early Civil Rights: Washington or Du Bois?” from our course “America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.” Watch this full lecture here when you sign up for a Free Trial of The Great Courses Plus:

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