Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the foreground with other people standing attentively in the background

"I Have a Dream" Speech

by Martin Luther King Jr.

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What advice does Dr. King give to oppressed black Americans in his "I Have a Dream" speech?

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Dr. King offers many pieces of advice to his followers in the quest for civil rights. One of the first is that his followers must not jeopardize their "rightful place" with "wrongful deeds."  Even if their opponents meet them with "physical force," they must respond with "soul force."  King believes that enough blood has been shed and lives have been taken and that the way forward is through nonviolent protest and peaceful insistence on equal rights.

Dr. King also advises his followers that it would be a mistake to "distrust all white people."  He understands that much of the power in America at this time rests in the hands of whites, and that many whites support integration and equality for all Americans; thus, they are allies.

In addition to reiterating his commitment to nonviolence and building alliances, Dr. King encourages his followers to remain committed to the cause until their aims are realized. He tells his audience literally and figuratively to keep the faith.

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