Martin luther king audio recordings

There are many famous speeches that we as a society call upon even today. It is not a well-crafted phrase that causes a speech to stay in the public consciousness throughout the years, although that does increase its chances. Instead, it is the speaker’s call to action to believe in a cause that is larger than themselves that pulls at the heartstrings of its listeners .

A key component of a historic speech is a well-crafted phrase. It may not be the phrase the speech writer believed the public would latch onto. However for one reason or another, this one line is able to conjure up the speech in its entirety for anyone who hears it even decades later. Consider the top three patriotic speeches taught to school children, from Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, and the unforgettable MLK Jr.

The Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln, begins with the famous phrase, “Four score and severn years ago,” and continues on with solemn words to defend the necessity of seeing the Civil War to its bloody conclusion.

President Kennedy’s inaugural address included the famous phrase, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” It is worth noting that that phrase closely resembles a quote by the poet Kahlil Gibraun, but is no less potent for it. At the time of his speech, the world was on the brink of much upheaval.

What sets something like a speech apart, to continue on outside of its time? A speech works best when it inflames the minds of its listeners. This task requires the right words, but just as importantly, it requires the right delivery.

As one clearly hears when listening to one the Martin Luther King Jr speech audio tapes, his speaking voice was modulated to perfect effect. MLK Jr had quite a bit of practice to get his delivery down. The total estimates are about 2,500 total public speeches over the course of his life, which breaks down to about 450 per year of his activism.

MLK Jr could draw huge crowds eager to hear his thoughts on civil rights. Even six years before his speech at the March on Washington, D.C., he drew crowds of an estimated 15,000 30,000 people to his first national speech. At his most iconic delivery, the crowd size was estimated at 250,000.

There is an anecdote that MLK Jr labored over that speech. Even minutes before he went up to the microphone, he was making changes on his speech notes. Perhaps most shocking, the phrase, “I have a dream,” was ad-libbed.

Words are powerful, because of their ability to inspire. The right words heard at the right time can break people out of the destructive, numbed patterns they’re trapped in. A speech is just words it is true, just as a society is only made of individual people. It is when those words come together and those people come together for the express purpose of serving an ideal that they can change the world.

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