Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: An Analysis

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During the nineteenth century, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has shown us the genuine significance of the word freedom, leaving an indelible mark on America. During the Civil Rights Movement, King preached that nonviolence and civil disobedience are the only way to fight for freedom, effectively driving Blacks in their journey for the "unalienable rights" guaranteed by our Founding Fathers. “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline,” he urged. Freedom, he believed, is the ability for all mankind to think, speak, and act in the public sphere. Education is the key to thinking, speaking, and acting in a coherent and persuasive manner. Like the biblical parable in which Jesus preaches the benefit of teaching…show more content…
According to King’s argument, safeguarding freedom requires that we live up to the promises made in the Declaration of Independence. Segregation is not consistent with freedom because segregation is a barrier to education and thus to man’s pursuit of “liberty” and “happiness.” Freedom is brotherhood, peace, and racial harmony. Freedom is being judged not “by the color of [one’s] skin but by the content of [one’s] character”. To King, freedom is equality. In his landmark “I Have a Dream” speech, King draws on the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Before considering the Civil Rights Movement, it is imperative to understand that public freedom is predicated on the belief that all men (meaning all humans, females alike) are equal before the law. Disapproving of the hierarchy and inequity of the British system, the writers of the Declaration of Independence believed that pedigree and personal assets were unfair measures of one’s worth. More than just a declaration of independence from an oppressive government, this idea was the declaration of a new faith in reason. Much like René Descartes in his Discourse on Method (1637), the drafters questioned the conventional norm of their day and strove to establish an enlightened nation. In fact, America is oftentimes seen as a child of enlightenment because it so adamantly set itself apart from the European system of governance. Rather than cling to the structure and stagnancy of their predecessors, the Founding Fathers looked to progress and sought enlightenment. It is from this spring of reason that Martin Luther King, Jr. drank and developed his ideas on freedom and equality. Public freedom finds its only guarantee in the idea that all men are created equal; although the Founding Fathers did not actively work to abolish slavery or enfranchise
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