KING #2

In regards to Dr. King’s ideology, if one would evaluate the two speeches and his letter chronologically, he seems to be moderate in both the “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” and the  “I Have a Dream” speech.  Both used similar rhetoric that seemed to be his staple, quotes or allusions from The Declaration of Independence, “This note was the promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (217) Followed by passages from the Bible or, in this case, a Negro spiritual (Free at last, pg.220).  By the time 1968 rolls around, King is tired and frustrated with the lack of accomplishment in the movement, and his despair/anger at the Johnson administrations continued escalation of the Vietnam War that is draining needed funds away from the war on poverty(ie; the civil rights movement agenda for equality and economic upgrade).  King’s rhetoric is more radical (liberal?) than his speeches five years earlier.  He calls for fair treatment, or else “our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”(pg.283)  Dr. King now sounds more like Malcolm X.

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One response to “KING #2

  1. I agree that King shifted his stance from 1963 to 1968. I think King was more conservative than moderate in 1963, but agree that when he gave the “I See the Promised Land” speech the night before his death, he was definitely more liberal than he had been in previous years. I think that he was very frustrated with the lack of improvement and he was finally ready to let out his true feelings towards the end of his life.

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