Literature Study GuidesI Have A Dream Speech

I Have a Dream Speech | Study Guide

Martin Luther King Jr.

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Course Hero. "I Have a Dream Speech Study Guide." Course Hero. 23 Oct. 2018. Web. 16 Aug. 2022. <>.

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Course Hero. "I Have a Dream Speech Study Guide." October 23, 2018. Accessed August 16, 2022.


Course Hero, "I Have a Dream Speech Study Guide," October 23, 2018, accessed August 16, 2022,



Martin Luther King Jr.

Year Delivered



Primary Source


History, Speech

At a Glance

  • On August 28, 1963, 250,000 people gathered in Washington, DC, to take part in the March on Washington. The protesters demanded an end to racial discrimination in housing, employment, and other areas of American life.
  • The march came almost a decade into the civil rights movement, whose inception is often traced to the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycotts of 1955–56. Those protests were organized by multiple civil rights organizations, including the Montgomery Improvement Association, which selected Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–68) as its president. King rose to prominence as a leader of the boycott, which was a response to discriminatory practices in Montgomery's public transportation.
  • King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech at the end of a three-hour program of oratory, music, and prayer. In it, he expressed his "dream" that American society would one day judge individuals by their character, not their race.
  • The march, with King's speech as its defining moment, galvanized the movement. Responding to growing public unrest, Congress passed several pieces of civil rights legislation in the coming years, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Today, King's speech is viewed as a definitive expression of the ideals of the civil rights movement. King's "dream" of racial equality is seen as the essence of what the movement hoped to achieve and the means chosen to achieve it.


This study guide for Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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