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Martin Luther King’s historic speech is filled with rich imagery; however, the most important images are those relating to what is owed and has been promised to African Americans. The use of these images stress King’s purpose—to motivate and encourage the protesters gathered to demand fair and equal rights as American citizens.

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Topic Sentence:

King likens the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to a promissory note signed by America.

  • Explain promissory note
  • Currency is not cash but equal rights
  • The C. and DofI are America’s founding documents – intensify the promissory note.

Explain comparison btwn note and equal rights. Compare C. and DofI with promise (promissory note).

Conclusion: promissory note would be honored at a banks so why won’t America honour their historical documents.

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King likens the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to a promissory note signed by America. While a promissory note is based on monetary values, the currency King implies is fair and equal rights. King’s inclusion of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence (both are foundational documents for the United States) further intensify the image of the promissory note by comparing the legality of the note to the legality of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence; both of which guarantee equal rights for all Americans. King’s claim that he and the protesters “have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition” reinforces the fact that the United States has reneged on it’s promises and it is time for the protesters to demand that was promised on these historical documents be honored, just as a promissory note would be honored at a bank.