Upon what points should I focus if I had to assess the role of Martin Luther King in the context of the constitutional and civil rights issues of his era?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would first consult any task description or assignment requirements before engaging in writing the essay.  Making sure these points are present in your work is of vital importance.  I think that one of the areas upon which I would place focus would be the concept of Constitutionality in King's work.  In his speeches and overall message, Dr. King was successful in making the issue of Civil Rights one of Constitutional legacy and American History.  Examine the presence of these ideas in his speech, "I Have a Dream." King does not miss the chance to be able to speak to the idea that Civil Rights is a part of the American legacy.  It is a part of the condition through which American History can be recognized.  Dr. King was smart enough to understand that the patriotism and love for America in the late 1950s and early 1960s can be "coopted" in a matter of speaking to advance the agenda of Civil Rights.  While so many other leaders took to denigrating America, King flipped the script and argued that the idea of Civil Rights is merely an extension of the promises and possibilities of American History and its Constitution.  In doing so, he is able to make the time bound difficulty in the concept of Civil Rights come to pass for all Americans.

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