The question is: Why? Look at this program -- there were a host of great speakers that day.
Why do we remember Dr. King's speech? There are many reasons, from the political to the tragic. I encourage you to look here for the entire text, as we examine a few of the creative reasons why we remember. In his gorgeous speech, Dr. King:
- Follows the "magic of three" rule when repeating key phrases: "One hundred years later ..." In a later paragraph, it's "Now is the time ..." a phrase he uses three times and then picks up again in the next paragraph, after a pause. Note that he also sets these phrases up: "There is no time to engage ...." sets up the "Now is the time" approach.
- Shows rather than tells. He paints a picture: "...the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity."
- Takes the universal and makes it personal. "I have a dream that my four little children ..."
- Draws on the familiar. This crowd knew Biblical references. And Dr. King knew how to engage an audience with call and response.
- Makes us think. Consider today's political rhetoric. Measure it against some of the words and phrases in this speech: "manacles of segregation," "the fierce urgency of now," "the whirlwinds of revolt." There are too many to list. Read the speech.
I generally keep my liberal politics out of the blog. However, I truly believe this isn't politics. It's a matter of what's simply, morally right: As a nation, as a people, we should share the dream. We should never be satisfied "until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."