Talk:I Have a Dream

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I can't believe that this article said that "I have a dream" was the first phrase of the speech. Whoever wrote that must have never listened to the speech or even read it. In that case, why the hell were they writing an article on it?! What's more, why did noone else pick it up? CGS 23:16, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC). This is just a term used.

Ah - I see it was only put in yesterday. CGS 23:35, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC).

Can someone please add the approximate time that the speech began? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

It appears that the park ranger in the featured photo is not the ranger who was actually there. This is a whole new ranger! Check it against the video - easier seen in the Ken Burns National Park show. (talk) 02:48, 14 October 2013 (UTC)jw

Kennedy quote?[edit]

hello For a long time, this page included a claim that Kennedy's reaction to the speech was simply to say, "He's good." I haven't been able to find any reference, outside Wikipedia, to this quote, so I've deleted it from the page. Please provide information, and preferably a citation, if you know of any support for this quote. —Steven G. Johnson 02:48, Jun 15, 2004 (UTC)

Well, its been two years since your deletion, but Steve, an article appeared in the ABC news website, with Peter Jennings which verifies the quote.
As to it being his only reaction, I think i had seen in some documentary that Kennedy did in fact repeat King's words back to him to show that he was impressed - although I cannot remember the Source for that! Ashandil 03:24, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Extra Verse[edit]

I've included an extra verse to the speech. It may be me, but I've heard this part recited more often than any other. If you wish to remove the section, please explain here. Thanks. Dean.l 18:52:50, 2005-09-06 (UTC)

This part should be merged with Martin Luther King's page and deleted220.247.252.252 13:22, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


I read an article once that suggested that the famous part of this speech was an afterthought; and extemporized when a supporter said something like "tell us about your dream!" I am not sure, but have an idea that the supporter had heard King speak at another gathering. Could someone who knows the truth add some detail about this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, January 20, 2006

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson called out, "Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!" Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America -- a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy. [1]


[3]—Steven G. Johnson 18:21, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I just listened to an audio recording of the speech where audience comments from individuals were audible, but did not hear anything like the above "tell them about your dream". Also, the flow did not seem to fit with the above. Could this be folklore that was able to survive before actual audio recordings were so readily available on the Internet? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 18 May 2011 (UTC) Also the Wikipedia topic on Mahalia Jackson mentions her singing at this event, but does not mention this detail. Regardless of her success and fame, if this story were true would it not have been a singular event above all others to be mentioned in her biography? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:49, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Another Kennedy quote[edit]

Someone added this without citing any reference:

President John F. Kennedy, who met King later the same day, was said to have been highly impressed by King's rousing speech. He met King with an approving nod of the head and by saying "I (too) have a dream".

Please provide a source for this, as a quick Google search doesn't turn up any other references to this alleged quote. (I'm curious to know how Kennedy pronounced the parentheses, too!). —Steven G. Johnson 18:21, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I suppose it is possible the parentheses was meant to suggest that the emphasis was on the "I". Nina (talk) 04:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Request for Expansion[edit]

Can someone please flag this to be expanded? There is so much more that could be said about this speech than what is already contained in the current versions of the article (as of Feb. 2006).

For starters, there should be a section on how the speech was received (several sources I've come across imply that the speech was not run on Television/radio stations in the south when Dr. King gave it). In addition, there needs to be greater elaboration on the speech’s impact on American race relations and on political rhetoric in general. Finally, the whole debate as to whether or not the speech is in the public domain should in and of itself be at least as long as the current version. (Note: I also made some minor edits - removed language that was derogatory, i.e. one of the greatest speeches in American History relied on the use of "platitudes" etc. - not very accurate or complimentary) —Anon 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Note that there is a whole article on the court dispute over the copyright: Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc.. —Steven G. Johnson 00:12, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

a famous speech / the most famous speech (POV)[edit]

I suppose this is considered the most famous speech by most people, so why say it is the most famous speech?--Robin.rueth 17:33, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Could you rephrase your question? The article says "...a famous public speech by", not "the most famous speech". --Dhartung | Talk 18:39, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand... you admit that most people consider it King's most famous speech... so you wonder why we say so? This is an encyclopedia. I'd think it would be obvious that we definitely print things that most people consider to be correct. If you're trying to make an argument that it's "too obvious" to deserve mention, I couldn't disagree more. I consdier it best practise to assume total ignorance on the part of our readers. Kasreyn 21:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Stating opinions as fact is covered at Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words and Wikipedia:Avoid peacock terms. Both guidelines discourage this type of language. Cacophony 00:07, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
No, famousness is not opinion, it is fact. Whether speech x is more famous than speech y can be objectively determined. If it's absolutely necessary I can go find a reliable source describing "I Have a Dream" as King's most famous speech. I was merely pointing out that I really didn't think it was necessary; there is such a thing as being overzealous in our sourcing. But if you insist, I will. Kasreyn 00:11, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
How would these do? [4][5][6][7][8]Kasreyn 00:16, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, would you look at that... took me only five minutes to find five good sources! You can do this at home, too. Kasreyn 00:18, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Those are just examples of others opinions, not an objective measurement of "x vs. y". What you need is a scientific study that determines how many people have heard of it compared with other speeches. If you really wanted to, you can say "So and so considers this to be the most famous speech ever". See how Ulysses (novel) cites its ranking as #1 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels (at the end of the introduction!) as an example. Cacophony 00:36, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

The wording under debate is "the most famous public speech by Martin Luther King", not "most famous ever by anybody". I don't think it's especially remarkable to name something "most famous" (or more weakly "best known") if we're only talking about one individual's oeuvre. Of Dr. King's speeches, this is the most famous. We call "I Have a Dream" its "popular" nickname, is that something we need a scientific study for? I am not saying the article is great, but this is nitpicking. --Dhartung | Talk 02:56, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the rewrite Dhartung, much improved. While I agree that it is not a major issue, these phrasing issues need to be discussed. It is just the gears of the wiki grinding away. Cacophony 03:54, 19 July 2006 (


The World Wide School page linked gives a different answer to the copyright issue; which is correct?—Mutt Russell, 12:15, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I believe the current page is correct; the 11th circuit overruled an earlier ruling that is (apparently) the source of the info on the page you mention. Steven G. Johnson 21:35, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Thank you.—Mutt Russell, 14:59, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I came to this article to read the speech, and found it wasn't in here. Granted, there are a couple of links to it, but still - it seems wrong to write an article about how important the speech was, its style, and how it was recieved, yet neglect to put in the speech itself.Yarilo2 14:00, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

The speech is copyrighted by the King estate, and they have sued for infringement more than once. The speech is not ours to distribute (without permission). In any case this is an article about the speech; that's what an encyclopedia does. --Dhartung | Talk 14:26, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps this can be mentioned in the article (the copyright thing)? In any case, I didn't know about the copyright problem, so I'll take the speech off.Yarilo2 14:28, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
This is from :

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Permission is hereby granted to download, reprint, and/or otherwise redistribute this file, provided this distribution statement is included and appropriate point of origin credit is given to the preparer and Douglass.


[null 19:23, 28 August 2006 (UTC)]Coffee2theorems

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To be completely honest, I'm pretty confused now. However, I'd rather have the speech than not have it, and it seems to be legal, so I put it back in (with what I thought was appropraite credit)-Yarilo2 20:03, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

] <a></a> [null I have listed this page on ]Wikipedia:Request for copyright assistance. Cacophony 23:04, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

In response to Cacophony's call for advice - IMHO, there is no doubt that the Douglas project doesn't own the copyright, the King estate does. You could contact the Douglas project to see if they have a license from the King estate to permit redistribution, but without some positive confirmation, Wikipedia needs to treat the speech as copyrighted. Thanks, TheronJ 01:15, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
There is some uncertainty because a US court declared the text public domain during the 1990s, but that ruling was eventually overturned and the copyright enforced. Under US law the public distribution of a text does not in itself abrogate copyright (see Bell v. Combined Registry, the Desiderata case) (sorry, misremembered opinion here). Thus the copyright remains, even if the King estate chooses to allow the Douglas Center to distribute the work. They are distributing copyrighted work with permission. This is not the same as Wikipedia having permission, however (for example, Wikipedia content may be mirrored elsewhere in a commercial context). In any case, the proper location for the text of the speech is not Wikipedia itself but m:Wikisource, and I see that the English Wikisource has a notice requesting that noone add the speech due to the extant copyright, which will remain in force until 70 years after King's death. --Dhartung | Talk 03:58, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Altough the estate claims to have copyright; this was not established in court. However they are more than willing to sue over the matter and no one has spent the money needed to prove them either right or wrong in the matter. Copyright is legaly unknown, but eveyone respects the estate's claim.--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 15:04, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
That's well put. Like a patent, a copyright is only good until someone gets a court decision declaring it invalid. For now, though (1) the King estate claims copyright; and (2) in light of the CBS decision, their claim is at least plausible. TheronJ 15:08, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

The CBS "decision" doesn't really count. The estate won the intial decision. CBS appealed and got a favorable ruling regarding "limted distribution" and the case was remanded for determination. The parties settled out of court. That means no decision. However the claim of copyright is certainly plausible. I do not encourage anyone to distrube this text without permission. At the same time it is incorrect to claim Copyright has been established.--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 15:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Not quite. CBS won the initial decision. On appeal the 11th Circuit reversed the district court and established that the King estate did hold copyright to the speech. They then remanded the case "for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion". What they meant by that is that even though the speech is copyrighted, CBS's use of it could still have been lawful under fair use and the district court should find out. The parties settled out of court before this was decided. It's still fair to say that the ruling established that the estate does hold the copyright to the speech and that it is not in the public domain. Haukur 18:19, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

On a somewhat different subject the whole copyright discussion is not sourced. Further the line "Unlicensed use of the speech or a part of it can still be lawful in some circumstances and jurisdictions under doctrines such as fair use or fair dealing." I believe is not encyclopedic and should be deleted. If there is no objection I will delete the line. --CooliLowe (talk) 16:40, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Why are there links to illegal copyright material? The US is extraditing a UK citizen for providing links to copyright material. QuentinUK (talk) 11:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Relationship to Malcolm X?[edit]

This is something that I've often wondered about the speech, but I'm nowhere near close enough to an expert on the civil rights movement to answer it: around 6:45 or so ("let us not not satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred," etc) I often think that King is responding to Malcolm X and his peers in the black nationalist movment. I guess what I'm getting at is that I would like to see some discussion on this page of the speech in the context of the greater civil rights movement, but I personally don't feel qualified to add anything myself. --thither 07:58, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. While I would personally agree with your interpretation, we really can't use anything like this unless it's attributed to an outside source. Original Research is not appropriate in an encyclopedia, and for us to add our personal interpretations of what Dr. King may have meant into the article would definitely be OR. If you can find a reliable 3rd-party source we can link to, that shares your analysis of that portion of the speech, I would see no problems with adding it. Cheers, Kasreyn 20:09, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Did Mahalia Jackson urge King to mention the dream?[edit]

Did gospel singer Mahalia Jackson either whisper or call out to King, who was about to sit down, "Tell them about your dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream."? Or did she mention it before his trip? So far this seems like urban legend, or at best, anecdotal. I've inquired of Snopes as well. NjtoTX 14:50, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Should it be noted that[edit]

Part of this speech is used in a song by Gwen Stefani called 'long way to go'? -Anthony- 09:19, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

The source for "I have a Dream"[edit]

In his autobiography (The autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr., edited by Clayborne Carson) Dr. King mentions that he never planned to say "I have a dream" but once he said it for the first time in the speech, he didn't go back to his prepared speech and spoke off-the-top of his head. Should this be mentioned more in-depth?

The text " King stopped delivering his prepared speech and started "preaching", punctuating his points with "I have a dream." The speech was drafted with the assistance of Stanley Levison and Clarence Benjamin Jones[14] in"

Makes it very confusing who wrote the speech. Did Stanley Levison and Clarence draft the "I have a dream" speech? Or did they draft the original prepared speech which Martin Luther veered off from? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:34, 23 November 2013 (UTC)


I came across an amazingly blatant instance of vandalism on the first line here. I'm not sure if it'll be listed in some edit history here, but if it is, please block whoever did it. Something about a "big hairy cock" instead of "I have a dream". I edited it back to what it was supposed to say -- but there might be more instances in the rest of the article; could somebody please run a thorough check? (talk) 16:15, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Nizingur

That first sentence appears to be a popular target. I recently saw that someone had changed the first line to read: "I Don't Have a Dream". I took out the offending "don't". --Jelsova (talk) 20:38, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


The reference to Barack Obama is completely irrelevant and does not belong here. There is no obvious link between Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr. except perhaps skin color... and is that not exactly the wrong sort of thing to put in King's "Legacy" section? -- Jane Q. Public (talk) 20:59, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

I do not agree with the above comment. The fact of the matter is that Obama becoming the first major party candidate for President is part of the legacy of the Civil Rights movement and definitely part of the Dream MLK Jr. had. However, I do think it is weird that it was posted that he accepted the nomination (in the past tense) before it actually happened. -- (talk) 16:27, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I changed it to present tense. Feel free to change it to past tense after Obama accepts tonight. --CooliLowe (talk) 16:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

It said "scheduled to become", but somebody changed it to past tense earlier today, writing that Obama became the candidate yesterday. As you correctly note, Obama will accept the nomination tonight, and then it can be changed to the past tense.—Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 16:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Someone keeps turning it to the past tense. Please, do not put it in the past tense until it happens. We can not predict the future no matter how likely an event is to occur. --CooliLowe (talk) 19:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree that Obama has nothing to do with the legacy of King's speech (no more than any other black person in a high rank, at least), so I'm going to be bold and delete it. -- wr (talk) 11:40, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

To say that Obama's ascendancy is part of the legacy of the civil rights movement somewhat negates what MLK was saying. I would suggest that the MLK would have said that Obama attained the presidency because of the content of his character rather than the colour of his skin, and to attribute it to the civil rights movement sounds too much like affirmative action. This, however, is opinion. Much like the previously suggested obverse view. Nina137.111.47.29 (talk) 05:07, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Was it broadcast live on TV?[edit]

Was King's speech broadcast live on TV back in 1963? How many spectators saw it on TV back then? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, does anyone know the time of day when the speech began?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Semi-protection lock[edit]

I don't know how to put a semi-protection lock, or get someone else to put a lock on this page, but I'm sure everyone following this page would like to see a lock to make people without an account stop practicing with this page. I have no clue what to do about it since I'm really new to Wikipedia, so could someone put a lock to stop IP address only users from editing or tell me how to do it? Williamrmck (talk) 13:42, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Nuetral/Peacock terms[edit]

I've added a {{POV-Section}} tag to Speech title as it uses some non-neutral and WP:PEACOCK terms. The final sentence states: Thus, this speech is rightly called by that phrase which makes it so famous and so immediate to the moment of its delivery. This seems almost gushing and not at all adhering to WP:NPOV. Should the sentence be reworded or removed?

Additionally shouldn't the word preaching contained in "quotation marks" in the previous sentence have a cite? as preaching is potentially a loaded term and/or POV. Sanguis Sanies (talk) 17:59, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Whole text[edit]

Why not reproduce the whole text instead of just excerpts? It's barely longer than the excerpts included anyhow. I think it's famous and important enough to be included verbatim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Ah, I see that below this question is addressed. The speech is copyrighted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Similarity to other texts[edit]

I believe the parts that are "similar" to Archibald Carey belong in this article. The previous reference to snopes urban legend page was removed, correctly, imo. But Snopes was a convenient reference for the text of both speeches. They are both widely known. If someone wants to quote another encyclopedia or source please do. The previous reference from Stanford made light of the comparison and the one there now from ^ ""I Have a Dream" (28 August 1963)". The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2009. is both NPOV and not an active link,

What kind of objective encyclopedia lets someone's own foundation be the final word on if they plagiarized??

Just show the text, stop hiding facts!! (talk) 17:57, 28 August 2010 (UTC) Ok, I used the end text from the exact same MLK encyclopedia. The text is trimmed to 1 small paragraph and the source can not be disputed without the rest of the section being questioned also. (talk) 17:58, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

I would call this the main article and the authorship issue the side article. The real main article is the one on Martin Luther King, which is locked to prevent this fairy tale view of his life from being challenged by the facts of his life. When kids are forced to write their essay on this speech, they will come here from google and not authoship issues. Still, it seems a decent compromise for these side pages. (talk) 18:22, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

  • It seems as if you have a bone to pick. I am removing your addition of text to Archibald Carey, Jr., since it lacks a proper introduction, uses weasel words ("some have claimed"), and is really nothing but a primary text without an explanation of what it means from secondary sources. Please stop soapboxing; we here can't set the record straight (if it is crooked in the first place) since that constitutes original research. Thank you. Drmies (talk) 18:32, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Key excerpts[edit]

There's no rhyme or reason as to what's "key". To make an entirely unsourced section and say that parts of the speech are "key" is patently WP:OR. Quote it or don't, but at least give some reason as to what's being quoted; don't just quote willy-nilly. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 20:21, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

There are some (enough) sources where excerpts are chosen and written, not to be an 'OR':
“An excerpt from King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered during the March on Washington in August 1963 So / say to ... I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of ...” (Ted Yanak, Pam Cornelison, The great American history fact-finder, 1993)
“The following excerpt from Martin Luther King's speech ... I say to you today, ... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of ...” (Patricia Kearney, Timothy G. Plax, Public Speaking in a Diverse Society, 1999)
“Excerpt from the speech given in Washington, DC August 28, 1963 ... I say to you today, my friends, ... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin ...” (Trophies: a Harcourt reading/language art program, written by Isabel L. Beck, Roger C. Farr, Dorothy S. Strickland, 2003)
“Following are two excerpts from significant primary sources of the ... will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by ...” (Reggie Finlayson, We Shall Overcome: The History of the American Civil Rights Movement, 2003)
“Excerpt: I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the ... will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will ...” (Howard Dodson, Christopher Paul Moore, Roberta Yancy, Becoming American: The African-American Journey, 2009)
“key phrases in this excerpt from one ... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the ...” (Ann E. Healy, Martha Walusayi, Strategies for Writing: A Basic Approach, 1998)
And so on.
Regards, Kertraon (talk) 09:04, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Add those sources to the article, then. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 18:20, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Layout changes, content of the speech?[edit]

The article seemed very ad hoc and I've been trying to make a little more sense out of it. There are some new section headers now. I had split "rhetoric" and "content" but it just wasn't looking right, so now they're together in a big section on "the speech". I know how to proceed with reasonable expansions at "background", "responses", and "legacy"—I'm a little less certain on how to treat the speech itself. As discussed above, it's difficult to know what to include without outside sources. But even then, outside sources individually discuss every part of the speech, many times over, because of how commonly discussed the speech is! Maybe the solution is that all parts of the speech (which is not long) are fit at least to be discussed separately. And then a second section might talk about "rhetorical" aspects of the speech as a whole. (This is not my specialty and I will admit to being perplexed by statements like "Thus, the rhetoric of the speech provides redemption to America for its racial sins.") Any help and advice would be appreciated. Thanks & peace, groupuscule (talk) 05:07, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Audio of "I Have A Dream"[edit]

Moving discussion from User talk:TonyTheTiger:

You uploaded File:I Have A Dream sample.ogg a while back. Is there a reason that it ends in mid-phrase? I don't know how to crop the audio myself, but it seems like it would make more sense to end it around 25 seconds than the current 30 seconds. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 03:03, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I'll await further feedback, but I think it would still be mid-phrase if edited as suggested. I don't think it would be an improvement to shorten it. Actually, my talk is not that widely watched. Is there another place you could post this discussion that has a lot of watchers?--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 13:48, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Talk about unwatched, I've apparently missed it on my own watchlist a few times! Sorry about that. I'll copy this discussion over to Talk:I Have a Dream, then. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)


Hello there! I am thinking about expanding this article to FA so we can feature it as a TFA on August 28, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the speech. We are using the Gettysburg Address as an FA model. Here's what we need to do:

  • Lead section - should be expanded to four paragraphs.
  • Citations - all dead citations should be replaced.
  • Reception section - should be rewritten to include contemporary sources and reaction.
  • Bibliography section - it should be added.

All are welcome to assist in this process. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks, Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 22:30, 16 February 2013 (UTC)


King's ancestors should be mentioned in greater detail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:14, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Reader feedback: I expected the whole content...[edit] posted this comment on 22 January 2014 (view all feedback).

I expected the whole contents of the speech both in form of text and audio

Any thoughts?

BigBureaucracy (talk) 21:47, 30 January 2014 (UTC) You can find both in the "Links" section at the bottom of the page.

what happened in the months before the speech[edit]

nytimes / Michael Gonchar writes:

Background: The speech that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, [...] was not the speech he had prepared in his notes and stayed up nearly all night writing.

Dr. King was the closing speaker [...], and the “Dream” speech [...] almost never happened. The march itself almost never happened, as David Brooks writes, because the Urban League, the N.A.A.C.P. and the 'Southern Christian Leadership Conference' either chose to opt out or were focusing their energy elsewhere

before the events in Birmingham, Ala., in May 1963, with fire hoses and snapping dogs turned on protesters, helped reignite the call for a national march. The speech almost never happened because Dr. King didn’t think he had time to say all he wanted to say in the five minutes he was allotted — at the end of a long, hot summer day before the crowds were ready to disperse and go home.

"the events in Biormingham" are described in the article May 1963

I think some of that should be added to the article. Someone / arguments against that ? --Neun-x (talk) 10:23, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 31 March 2014[edit]

change is to was in first sentence (talk) 22:55, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Done Sam Sailor Sing 10:19, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Undone. It's part of our Manual of Style to refer to works of art, including past speeches and cancelled TV shows, in the present tense. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 16:43, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Malik, I wasn't aware of that rule. Best, Sam Sailor Sing 08:54, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Precursor to speech, November 27, 1962[edit]

Ran across this today, which talks about a speech which Dr. King gave at Booker T. Washington High in Rocky Mount, NC, on November 27, 1962. "King's speech at the North Carolina school -- at 55 minutes -- was longer than the Lincoln Memorial address. But the refrain was very similar -- in large chunks verbatim." The speech was recorded and was just recently restored & digitized: Gmporr (talk) 10:02, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Good find, will check this out. And he gave a similar speech in Detroit. Please have a look and maybe add this data to the Prathia Hall page as well. Randy Kryn 00:39, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Found some additional details in other references, and updated the article. I read the Prathia Hall article but at least to me, it doesn't seem like adding this info there would make sense. Certainly open to more discussion however. Thanks for mentioning her though, as history has never been my strong suit and I had not heard of her until now. Gmporr (talk) 04:08, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Bible verses in "Similarities and allusions" section[edit]

Question: Are the quotations where Bible verses are mentioned, meant to be quotes from Dr. King's speech, or quotes from the Bible? The way I read it, I was assuming the latter. But the passage in Isaiah does not start with "I have a dream". Removing those 4 words and just using "Every valley shall be exalted..." would be appropriate if the quote is meant to be from Isaiah rather than Dr. King, but if it's meant to be from the speech, then that section should probably be made a bit more clear. Gmporr (talk) 04:29, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 February 2016[edit]

Perhaps a slightly more interesting legacy than from an "Australian alternative comedy rock band" is the 1988 single 'Truth Of Self Evidence' by Reese & Santonio, i.e. Kevin Saunderson and Santonio Echols. This classic techno track is built around two voice samples from King's speech.

Refs: - -

Schallwelle (talk) 20:23, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. --allthefoxes (Talk) 23:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Prathia Hall[edit]

There should be a section on Prathia Hall and her inspiring many of the words and concepts of the speech, including "I Have a Dream", in Dr. King's unwritten portion of the complete speech. She gave her speech in September, 1962 at a burned down church, and King first used it in November of that year. There is a good source on her pagewhich quotes Michael Eric Dyson in the Chicago Sun-Times, and Dyson also used the data in a book. Personal note, I was the first to publicly release this information, during a talk at an academic conference on the 1960s held in 1993, and actually was the first to interview Ms. Hall about the topic, so probably someone else should add it into the page. Thanks. Randy Kryn 14:40, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Hmm, No doubt there are many antecedents of talking about the "dream", as this article already discusses and the Sun-Times article stresses the refrain of preaching borrowing word images from the bible and culture - so, how can one really say it started with Hall? At any rate, a whole section? No, I cannot see that. The "concepts" lived before King or Hall. But do you have a proposal for a sentence? Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:11, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Dyson's data is well documented. Maybe not an entire section, although historians in the further-future will likely and accurately call this the "King/Hall I Have a Dream speech". No proposal for a sentence, as I was involved in releasing this information in 1993. It was an honor to talk to Ms. Hall about this, take her questions to James Bevel, have him confirm that Dr. King and he discussed the speech while driving away from the ceremony at the burned-down church, and going back to tell her that. Can't use that on the page though, but Dyson's book is a good source. Randy Kryn 15:35, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
I believe you (except I make no prediction on what future historians will do) and I am willing to work with you. As you seem well placed to formulate a proposal for a sentence, with a citation, it would be helpful if you do so. No fear of OR by following whatever source you choose, or if your concern is COI -- this way, just propose it here. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:42, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, will have to hold off on that as I don't have a copy of Dyson's book, which would include the exact language and his research. That's probably the best source right now. In any case, Dr. King surely put his unique spin and speaking style on a theme and concept that he had heard emotionally spoken a couple of months before he began using it in November 1962, and in sharing it during the March on Washington he touched the hearts of millions and iconized the words. Considered as one of the best speakers of the era, Prathia Hall had a major influence as a student leader and SNCC organizer in Albany, Selma, and elsewhere. Another of many who should be further recognized. Randy Kryn 17:37, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
As mentioned above, I'm not going to have access to Dyson's book, so you or someone else can add it if the source seems good. If this is true I'd guess that King would probably have talked about it somewhere in his mid-40's (he died at 39, an age when Gandhi was still trying to sort it out and get his head around nonviolence), because honesty-over-ego comes with some age on it. Prathia Hall didn't remember the words of her speech, but said "it sounds like something I would have said". Which makes Bevel the only source for Hall, myself, Dyson, and others, so I'm a bit too close to it to add it to the page. I do think it should be added in some form, as one of the alternate "maybe" items, and would think the same way if the Dyson data were the first I'd heard about it. Randy Kryn 23:43, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I think the current mention of Hall, which is already in this article is enough. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:18, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
You're probably right, although Dyson's reference and material might flesh it out a bit. Randy Kryn 19:03, 23 April 2016 (UTC)