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One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
By order of introduction, here are the key phrases: ways to use repetition as well.
One way is to repeat key “theme” words throughout the body of your speech.
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a 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.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.
This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.
It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.Much of the greatness of this speech is tied to its historical context, a topic which goes beyond the scope of this article.Instead, I’ll focus on five key lessons in speechwriting that we can extract from Martin Luther King’s most famous speech.Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now.