Monday, May 20, 2019
Martin Luther King Jr Essay
In 1998, an Atlanta Federal District Court judge ruled that Martin Luther kings I pitch a Dream expression was part of subject history and that CBS did not need to seek authority to air it in an pastal documentary that allow ind a segment on the cultured rights movement. The documentary, circularise in 1994, incorporated a nine-minute excerpt of powerfulnesss historic run-in. The talentiness Corporation lawyers in the case argued that CBS had unlawfully used top executives eloquent, creative, literary expressions.Arguing the decision before the eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the fairy family succeeded in having it overturned two socio-economic classs later. Although the decision was the first to legitimately cement the queen familys rights, this was not the first time the copyright had commence an issue, nor would it be the last. Presciently, queen regnant had copyrighted the dustup a month after it was delivered and his heirs clung tenaciously to the idea tha t it was a bequest to them (Stout 16). Cl arence J unmatchables, queers lawyer and confidant, filed suit against Twentieth Century Fox Records and Mr.Maestro Records for issuing bootleg copies of the actors line (Branch 886).However, business leader granted Motown Records permission to release two recordings of his obstetrical deliveryes (Great litigate to Freedom and Great March to Washington), provided told Motown founder Berry Gordy that he wanted the entire proceeds to be donated to the gray Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). When Gordy urged baron to keep half of the royalties for himself and his family, King insisted it go to the SCLC so as not to give the impression that he was benefitting from the cause of civil rights (Posner 17576).Kings family, care Gordy, has seen the lyric as an important source of revenue, some of which undoubtedly has been used to promote Kings legacy. Since lovely their appeal against CBS, the King family has continued to exploit the copyright of the speech, agreeing to sell the French teleph atomic number 53 come with Alcatel the right to use a digitally altered version of the event for a 2001 telly technical. The technical 184 Martin Luther King junior s I Have a Dream Speech 185 shows King harangue jarringly absent the 250,000 people who had on that day lined the reflecting pool on the bailiwick mall.The commercial asks what would take a crap happened if Kings words had not been able to connect with his audience (Szegedy-Maszak 20). Selling a permission to use the speech for a video recording commercial and engaging in legal row to the highest degree the news medias right to rebroadcast the speech are not developments that could be predicted from the iconic status the speech has achieved in national history. Although the legal dimensions of the speechs dissemination are of interest, we are primarily interested in how Kings speech has become a permanent localisation in the collective memory of Amer ican citizens despite the copyright controversy.In a recent parole on the speech, Drew Hansen suggests that it is the oratorical equivalent of the Declaration of Independence (The Dream 214). What Edwin Black said of the Gettysburg goal is equally true of I Have a Dream The speech is fixed now in the history of a people (Black 21). Far to a greater extent than an ordinary written or performed text, Kings speech is now viewed as a text belonging to the nation, despite its current legal status. Coretta Scott King suggested that when King delivered the speech he was connected to a high power (King).Whether or not divinely inspired, the speech has come to make up the civil rights movement and anchors collective state-supported memory of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Equality and of King himself. Although Kings I Have a Dream speech is now acknowledge as one of the most important speeches of the twentieth century, this has not always been the case. Reactions to the spe ech immediately next its delivery were mixed. Some praised the speech, while inexplicably others completely ignored it.How did Kings speech achieve its iconic status given the mixed reaction immediately following its presentation? cerebration of the speech as generative of its own fame supports the legendary aura that now surrounds it, exclusively its elevated altitude resulted from a gradual process of media dissemination and cultural amplification. The touchstones in this process included eventual comparisons of Kings rhetoric to Lincolns, media portrayals of Kings role in the civil rights movement following his assassination, and the appropriation of the speech as a synecdoche for that movement.The memory of Lincolns speech was fixed by print, while Kings speech was fixed by the electronic media. In 1863, no one realized that Abraham Lincolns humble Remarks by the President at the Gettysburg ceremony would have become part of national iconography. Years later, Carl Sandburg r eferred to it reverentially as the great American poem, but part of the questionable lore of the speech is that Lincoln truly believed the world would not keep nor long remember what he and others said at Gettysburg.Senator Edward Everett, one 186 ANQ A quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews of the great ceremonial orators of his day, had conform to every expectation of his audience with an address that took him two hours to deliver. It had taken Lincoln only three proceedings to utter his 272 words (Wills 68). Lincolns speech gradually reached a secondary audience with the accounts of newspapers Kings speech was instantaneously comprehend and seen by radio listeners and television viewers come in the millions.For all its compelling metaphor and soaring imagery, I Have a Dream is more drama than poetry as drama, it must be heard and seen. Kings rhetorical disposition was oral, Lincolns written. Lincoln spoke transcendentally, while King spoke in the moment. Journalist Richard Carter, an eyewitness of the speech, reminds us that never before had a civil rights demonstration been aired live on national television (38). It was overly the last such mass meeting to be broadcast (Branch 876).Of the ten civil rights leaders who spoke at the rally, King did most to ignite the crowd, but the impact on television audiences derived from the interplay of King, his speech, the response of the crowd, and even the frequent cutaways to Lincolns statue. Carter finds it inexplicable that television critic Kay Gardella of the New York quotidian News, who acknowledged that the speech was the most moving of the rally, subordinated the impress of Kings words to the visual images that the television camera associated with them Most effective and meaningful, she aid, were the cutaways to Lincolns statue (38).To those in the television medium who recorded the speech, and carely to those who watched it, the stone statue of the Great Emancipator amplified t he combined effect of Kings lyrical words, mellifluous voice, and dictated countenance. The symbolic interplay between King and Lincoln was also not lost on E. W. Kenworthy, who filed the front scalawag story for the Times It was Dr. Kingwho had suffered perhaps most of allwho ignited the crowd with words that might have been written by the sad brooding man enshrined within (1).James Reston, on the comparable New York Times front page, declared that King touched the vast audience. Until then the pilgrimage was barely a great spectacle (1). The Time Magazine article about the rally clearly understood the immenseness of Kings speech Kings particular magic had enslaved his audience, Time said of the vigilant portion of Kings text, while particularly praising the extemporized section with which the speech ended as catching, dramatic, inspirational (Beginning). Not every major news outlet recognized the importance of Kings speech.The Washington Post, for example, focused on the spe ech delivered by A. Philip Randolph, without even mentioning Kings (Branch 886). The historic and literary brilliance of Lincolns address at Gettysburg had also not been universally recognized by journalists. The fact that Lincolns speech became so famed is doubly remarkable when one considers how few people actually heard it or saw so oftentimes as a photograph of Lincoln delivering it. Illustrators would fill in the visual gaps that photographers likeMatthew Brady had left out.thither is Martin Luther King Jr. s I Have a Dream Speech 187 only one photograph of Lincoln on the speakers platform and it was taken from some distance away (Kunhardt, Kunhardt, and Kunhardt 315). Kings speech, by contrast, was forever wedded to a set of visual imagesof Lincolns statue, of the responsive throng, and of King himself, visibly moved by his own words. It is difficult to explain precisely how Kings speech went from in camera copyrighted words to cherished public property, but surely the numb er of people who saw and heard and felt his speech live was an important ingredient.In the case of Lincolns speech, it helped that it was apparently patent and simple, something school children could easily read, memorize, and declaim. At eighteen minutes, Kings speech is hard-boiledly six measure as long as Lincolns, but the dramatic climax of the speech is short comely to replay in honoring King or in the retelling of civil rights movement history, and the imagery of the speech is often striking. Both Kings and Lincolns speeches were tied to a momentous event, and the messages of some(prenominal) can be appreciated, if not fully understood, by successive generations without providing detailed historical context.The alike(p) cannot be said of Lincolns lawyerly and highly nuanced First Inaugural Address, or for that matter Kings Vietnam era antiwar speech, A Time to Break Silence. The addresses at Gettysburg and the Lincoln Memorial abridge tumultuous chapters in American his tory. Martyrdom, Memorialization, and Mass Circulation The martyrdom of Lincoln and King did much to propel rehearsals of their deeds and words. Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Garrow agrees with King biographer Drew Hansen that the speech received little further mention until after King was assassinated.Although King was honored by Time as its Man of the Year in 1964, the same year he won the Nobel Peace Prize, prior to Kings assassination there was not a reason for the press to commemorate Kings biography or place in history. The denomination between King and his enunciated dream heard by millions was unavoidable and seemingly inevitable. Soon after his death, Motown Records reissued a genius recording of the Dream speech (Waller 48). Eulogizing King in 1968, Time spoke of the dream peroration of his speech as the peak of his oratorical career (Transcendent).While Corretta King asked supporters to join us in fulfilling his dream (Rugaber 1), the New York Times structured its eulogy of the fallen martyr by discussing aspects of his dream (He had a dream E12), and in another article judged that his speech at the LincolnMemorial was the high point of Dr. Kings war for civil rights (Mitgang E1). King himself perpetuated his identification with the dream by introducing it into his later speeches. 188 ANQ A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews Immediately after the assassination, Democratic Congressmen proposed the establishment of a Martin Luther King Jr. oliday, but it did not come to fruition until 1983 (Hansen, The Dream 216).The holiday itself has given impetus for annual memorializing of King and synoptic renderings of his life. Thus, the speech, particularly the prophetic dream section and dramatic conclusion, continued to be heard by roughly every generation of Americans. The speech was widely anthologized and was so widely taught in college public speaking classes that in 1982 Haig Bosmajian published an article in Communicat ion Education to correct inaccurate versions of the speech.In 1998, Time listed it as one of only four of the centurys greatest speeches, putting the speech in a firmament with speeches by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Kennedy and offering an abbreviated quotation of the dream section and peroration (Four). Within recent years, two books have been written about the speech, as books were also written about the Gettysburg address (Sunnemark Hansen, The Dream). in that location are few American speeches so important as to inspire book-length treatments. The anointing of the speech by the media has been a mixed blessing.Historians and civil rights proponents caution against the condensation of a rich life into a single event. Kings later speeches, which include continued references to his dream, proved less successful in the join than they had been in the South. I have felt my dreams falter, he said in Chicago in 1965, and on Christmas Eve 1967, reflecting on his own life, he added a drea m reference made famous by poet Langston Hughes I am personally the victim of deferred dreams, of blasted hopes.In his final years, the sweeping imagery of his famous 1963 speech gave way to a more focused advocacy on behalf of African Americans in their struggles for jobs, higher salaries, better working conditions, and integration (Hansen, Kings Dreams E11). King also adamantly opposed the VietnamWar and called for a guaranteed family income. Worried about the dissolution of the civil rights movement, he argued for a more aggressive and disruptive tell on of nonviolence, threatened boycotts, and even suggested obstructing the national Democratic and Republican conventions (Transcendent).Because Kings rhetoric is defined by the celebrated dream speech, his later speeches, which do not fit this model, are relatively unremembered. How much I Have a Dream has come to represent Martin Luther King is revealed by the planned national memorial in Washington, DC, for which ground was rec ently broken. Situated between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Martin Luther King Memorial exit include structures and elements that materially evoke Kings speeches, particularly I Have a Dream. Clayborne Carson, the theatre director of the King Papers Project at Stanford University, offered suggestions for the design selected from among more than 900 submissions.He proposed that Kings public words be used as inspiration for the structures in the open-air Martin Luther King Jr. s I Have a Dream Speech 189 memorial. Thus the features of the memorial include a mountain of despair and a stone of hope, reflecting a phrase from the speech. There is a fountain meant to symbolize the biblical quotation King used in the speech, the passage that Justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.There are naves, representing the leaders of the civil rights movement, hewn from rock, with rough edges on the outside, and smooth stone on the inside, again an homage to a biblical passage in Kings dream speech (The rough places shall be made plane and the crooked places shall be made straight) (Konigsmark 1B). The importance of Kings speech in American history is also illustrated by its incorporation at the Lincoln Memorial. Visitors can watch footage of Kings speech and note the spot where King delivered the speech, which is conspicuously marked with an X.Conclusion Historical interest in how King came to include the I have a dream section is comparable to the interest in how Lincoln placid his Gettysburg Address, which has produced tales of fanciful composition on an envelope while en route to Gettysburg. King had been given sevener minutes to deliver his speech and his prepared text fit roughly into that time limit until King departed from his text to declare that We will not be satisfied until justice runs down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. The voluble affirmation from the audience made King reluctant to continue read ing from his manuscript.At this crucial turn, King recast the subdued request that the attendees should go back to our communities with a dynamic series of imperatives Go back to Mississippi. Go back to South Carolina. Go back to Louisiana. Go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. Mahalia Jackson, who had earlier sung a depressed spiritual, shouted from behind King Tell em about the dream, Martin.Whether through the singers mesmerism or by his own initiative, King launched nearly seamlessly into the now famous sentences that embodied his dream (Branch 88182). There are competing accounts of why King chose to depart from his text and prepared conclusion to improvise the I have a dream refrain. While Corretta said that he had considered including this section beforehand if the moment was right, in a 1963 interview King remembered that he included it on an impulse I just felt I wanted to use it here.I dont know why. I hadnt thought about it before the speech (Hansen, The Dream). Kings version lends credence to Corettas idea that it was inspired by a higher power (King). Inspired prophecy should not require a prepared text, and unwritten speech, like the winged words of Homers heroes, is regarded as more authentic than written ones. xcl ANQ A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews No one, not even King, could anticipate the place his effervescing speech would take in public memory.In 1963 King delivered 350 speeches and sermons. His message and rhetoric were often the same although the size of his audience and the amplitude of his public exposure were never so great. Of course, the speech itself is powerful and memorable, but contextual forces, including the live airing of the speech, Kings assassination, and the enactment of a national holiday celebrating King all contributed to making I Have a Dream a symbol of Kings life, which in turn is a symbol of the civil rights movement.It was and continues to be a media event. It expresses in shorthand the sentiments that the public is supposed to recall. What was a performed text delivered with a political purpose has been translated by the media into a symbolic memoir that casts King as the heroic voice of those for whom the dream had not yet become a reality.