I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King

Explanatory Synthesis
Institutional Affiliation
Explanatory Synthesis of Martin Luther King Jnr. “A Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have
a Dream”
Through “A Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” readers realize Martin
Luther King’s level of eloquence. In the speech and the letter, Luther uses a lot of symbolism to
address some of the issues that relate to the redemption of the black community. In the speech, "I
Have a Dream" Luther addresses people who were demonstrating against the continued
persecution of the black community. On the other hand, "A Letter from Birmingham Jail" is
addressed to clergymen from England who thought that Luther King had gone to Birmingham to
cause chaos and violence. Although the speech and the letter were directed to different
audiences, Luther showcases some of the ironies that were encountered in the civil rights
In the speech “I Have a Dream,” the crowd has hope towards the redemption of the black
community. The demonstrators that gathered to listen to Luther’s speech were typical black
people. Considerably, the decision to assemble and listen to Luther was hinged on the need to
fight for equality in America. In most cases, it is not easy for people to gather and listen to a
public speech. However, in this case, Luther communicates to a multitude of people who are of
mixed orientations; highly educated and semi-educated. In most situations, it is challenging to
control emotions of a crowd of people who have different characteristics. However, the listeners
seem to be united towards liberating the community from racial segregation. Considerably, this
is what inspires Luther to use the ‘I Have a Dream” phrase in his speech. It is surprising that such
a crowd would have hope towards fighting for the equality in the society.
In "A Letter from Birmingham Jail," Luther talks to clergy that is pessimistic about the
end of racial injustice. Clergymen are persons who are educated and are aware of what relates to
social injustice. What this means is that the clergy is expected to understand the need to fight for
the rights of everyone in the community. Surprisingly, it is the same clergy that seems to be
fighting the efforts of Luther King (Jackson, 2013). The clergy indicates that Luther should let
the oppressors initiate mechanisms of creating equality in the society. Notably, this means that
the clergy accepts atrocities that are meted against human beings. Martin Luther argues that
when people submit to injustice, then it also means that they are part of that system. Luther's
assertion reveals the irony that the clergy showcase when they argue that the racists had the right
to or not to instill justice in the community. The clergy has biblical knowledge regarding
humanity, but it is appalling that these people were supporting this type of lifestyle into God's
creation. 
The irony that exists between “I Have a Dream” and “The Letter from Birmingham Jail”
is a manifestation of the ironies that happen in the society. In the community, there is that
response that is expected from people with certain demographic features. When people are
educated, they are supposed to behave prudently. However, in the case of Luther King's letter to
the clergy, it is evident that the audience had behaved contrarily. Significantly, the crowd that
responds to "I Have a Dream" is an indication that in some cases masses get united because of
the need to sanity in the community.
Jackson, T. F. (2013). From civil rights to human rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the
struggle for economic justice. University of Pennsylvania Press.

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