Sunday, January 18, 2009

King's words endure

Examining the "I Have a Dream" speech

If you like to study the spoken word, then you'll appreciate a Voice of America piece that looks at the musical qualities and rhetorical techniques of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech.

Ted Landphair writes: "That address is ranked by many historians as among the greatest orations - and most profound literature - in American history, alongside President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address during the American Civil War, Franklin Roosevelt's "Nothing to fear but fear itself" speech during the Great Depression, and John F. Kennedy's "Ask what you can do for your country" inaugural address. Teachers and students everywhere dissect its language, cadence and rhetorical techniques."

King delivered much of his historic address extemporaneously. In some ways, Landphair adds, "King's techniques recall those of jazz musicians." Read more.

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Ian Lidster said...

The reason I know it was a pivotal speech was that it overwhelmed me at the time it was uttered, not in retrospect. That is power.And it has lost none of its brilliance. God, but I wish we had oratory like that today. But, Mr. Obama's acceptance speech came close.

Dr. Deb said...

He was and continues to be a great influence in my life.

Deb S. said...

Ian: I agree with you. The speech is simply brilliant.

Dr. Deb: King continues to be a great influence in my life, too.