In Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, what is meant by "this shameful condition?"  

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an shameful condition.

The "I Have a Dream" speech was a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement.  The part of the speech in question is referring to the condition of African-Americans in society.  King wants to bring to light a number of problems faced by blacks in the United States.  He explains how it has been over a century since the slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation and yet African-Americans still do not feel like they belong in American society. This is the shameful condition that he speaks about.  This condition that black people find themselves in is a result of segregation and discrimination.   A major focus of the speech is on segregation, but limited voting rights in the South was another part of the condition that King mentions.  Having said that, King wants to deliver a speech that will catch the audience's attention and bring about change in the area of segregation and political rights for African-Americans.