King's Speech

Season 7
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Illustration of King delivering speech

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington is one of the most famous speeches in the world. But it almost didn't happen. If you look at the typed manuscript of his speech, you won't find the phrase "I Have a Dream." But even though Dr. King's speech was partially improvised, that doesn't mean that it wasn't years in the making. In this episode of Sidedoor, we trace the evolution of King's dream, from a secret friendship to an experimental poem to the speech we all know today.



  • Kevin Young, Director of Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • W. Jason Miller, Author of Origins of the Dream: Hughes's Poetry and King's Rhetoric

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