Martin Luther King`S ?I Have A Dream? Essay, Research Paper
Martin Luther King Jr.
?I have a dream?
One of the world?s best known advocates of non-violent social change strategies, Martin
Luther King Jr. (MLK), synthesized ideals drawn from many different cultural traditions. Recent
studies of him emphasize the extent to which his ideals were rooted in African-American religious
traditions which were then shaped by his education. We look at MLK and these traits to reveal the
reason of his rise to transracial leadership in our society. Through studying the life and example of
Martin Luther King, Jr., we learn of his morals and values of love, truth, fairness, caring, and
King is not great because he is well known, he is great because he served as the cause of
peace and justice for many humans. King is remembered for his humanity, leadership and his love
of his fellow man regardless of skin color. This presence of strong moral values developed King?s
character which enabled him to become one of the most influential leaders of our time. Integrity is
a central value in a leader?s character and it is through integrity that King had vision of the truth.
The truth that one day this nation would live up to the creed, ?all men are created equal?. He was
brought up believing ?one man can make a difference?, and this is just what he did. Integrity has a
large effect on what we think, say and do. It is through King?s thoughts and actions that enabled
so many people to have trust and faith in him.
King has been considered an extremist which he was not sure how to deal with at first.
After careful consideration he believed that if he were to be called an extremist for love, it could
only be taken as a compliment and he came to the realization that the world was in dire need for
more extremists. King did not want to be remembered after his death by his Nobel Peace Prize or
his many other awards, he wanted people to say ?…that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love
somebody…And I want you to say that I tried to love and save humanity?. Even when his own life
and the life of his family was threatened, King did not react with hatred or violence. King?s ability
to speak the truth is another value that made him such an influential leader. This ability is one
reason why King was asked to be the leader of so many important protest marches and sit-ins. His
mother was aware of King?s ability to speak the truth very early in his life. King?s followers
believed that he would speak nothing but the truth. King also believed that all people should be
treated with equality and fairness and this became the basis for the Civil Rights Movement of
which King was the leader of. This fairness is one value that allowed King?s followers to have so
much respect for him. They felt this way about him because they had never before been treated
with such fairness, they had never had anything to equal this in their whole lifetime. It is obvious
that King?s character was strongly influenced by his caring and compassion for all human beings,
regardless of skin color. King?s ability to show how he cared for his fellow man was evident in the
way he was able to get deeply into the hearts of people through his famous speeches. King?s fight
for justice was perhaps the most significant values that made him one of the most influential
leaders of all time.
King believed that one day justice will prevail for blacks as is seen in most famous speech
of all time, the speech, ? I Have a Dream?: ?I have a dream that one day even the state of
Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be
transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.? King wanted to see justice prevail and he and
many of his follower felt that it did in the signing of the 1964 and 1968 Civil Rights Act. Blacks
now had many rights that they were previously refused, they now had the right to vote, access
public accommodations, and racial discrimination was prohibited in the sale or rental of housing.
With this King was one step closer to seeing that this nation can live up to the creed, ?all men are
created equal?. King believed in his fight for justice so strongly that he described himself as
follows. Non-violence is a very important moral value that shapes the character of any great
leader. This is by far one of the strongest attributes which enabled him to reach his highest point
of leadership excellence. King was an advocate of non-violent means of achieving civil rights
reform. He had a very clear and concise idea of what he wanted to achieve and how to achieve it.
King was very much aware of the power of non-violent tactics in an attempt for social changes.
He voiced his beliefs of non-violent resistance in his ?I have a dream?, speech which has become,
for good reason, one of the worlds most memorable speeches of our time. He said: The true
meaning of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience, but how he
stands at times of controversy and challenge.