The Dream Lives On: MLK Words, Ways continue to Resonate

As one of the most influential figures in African American history, Dr. King led many rallies.


As one of the most influential figures in African American history, Dr. King led many rallies.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is globally known as one of the largest changemakers in terms of racial equality. He was born in 1929 in Georgia and was assassinated in Tennessee in 1968. The great life of Dr. King was ended at only 39 years old due to a despicable act of hate.

Before becoming a Civil Rights leader, Dr. King was a pastor like the generations of men in his family had been. This job prepared Dr. King for his mass public speaking and his importance to a community for years to come.

Freshman Sienna Barboni comments on why Dr. King’s proficiency is still current: “​​because he was a big influence on our world today and he dedicated his life to the rights of black people”. 

“I think the most memorable part of MLK‘s life is his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, it has a lasting impact on the world today and it made a huge impact on the movement for equality,” Barboni added.

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is well-known as his largest audience and most famous speech. In this speech, his past as a pastor really helps his gravitas and listeners can see his intelligence through his uses of diction and anaphora. 

As it is used in the title, “I Have a Dream” is one of his anaphoras that has become a major part of the current society, specifically concerning racial equality movements. This “dream” represents the freedom and equality that should be achieved for all in the United States. Dr. King points out many of the injustices and wrongdoings against the African American community in America. Dr. Martin Luther King speaks in an articulate and meaningful manner so that people will be willing to listen and can understand where he is coming from.  

This speech was given in 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. This location is of extreme importance for all of America but especially for African Americans because of Lincoln’s abolishment of slavery. Dr. King’s speech being at this memorial brings attention to the fact that just because Black citizens in America are legally free, does not mean they are treated like they are free. 

“At the core of what MLK Day should be is a commitment to your community because ultimately his message is that we are all part of the broader human community, and we should all be helping and supporting each other,” says Upper School Academic Dean and Social Studies teacher Mrs. Caroline Guzman. “I think kids, even if it’s just going to the beach and cleaning up for the day, does not have to be a huge community service project but just getting out in your community and being involved.”

“I think the way which Martin Luther King, Jr. got about achieving his goals through peace and non-violence is a really important message, and it resonated with so many people that you can achieve these really big goals and changes without going through more drastic violent means,” Mrs. Guzman also discusses. “He got at the core of just humans ultimately modeling what a different world could look like, and I think that’s why we honor him more than maybe Malcom X or the Black Panther movement because he achieved so much without having to go radical or drastic.” 

The renowned leader is deeply respected by the majority of the world. In his time, he was clearly much more controversial because of his “radical” views of equality. Out of most Civil Rights leaders, his tactics were the most peaceful, this is why he was and still is seen as really the “best” changemaker. People are much more open to listening to others who are willing to meet halfway or get their way in a calm way.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has had a long lasting reputation as an instrumental part of African American history.