Martin Luther King Jr. – Was his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech Improvised?

Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s influence was large, perhaps his greatest legacy came when he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963.

As the highly revered activist from the Civil Rights era prepared for the March on Washington, Dr. King worked with his advisors to craft his speech. About half-way through, with the crowd’s interest fading, the Baptist minister from Atlanta, Georgia’s decision to improvise would lead to a magical moment we never saw coming.

Dr. King and his speech would awaken not only the estimated quarter of a million people in attendance, but followers who also believed in an inclusive America.

In this episode of Black History in Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., with additional commentary from Farrah Griffin of Columbia University, we look at the journey Dr. King took to deliver words that would ignite generations of believers then and now.

Archival Materials Courtesy of:

  • Alamy Images
  • Getty Images
  • Library of Congress
  • National Archives and Records Administration

Archival Materials Courtesy of:

  • Alamy Images
  • Getty Images
  • Library of Congress
  • The New York Public Library

Executive Producers:

  • Robert F. Smith
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  • Dyllan McGee
  • Deon Taylor

Music By:

  • Oovra Music

Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.

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