In the midst of this year of instability and violence, King produced two of his best knownworks. While jailed for disobeying a court injunction forbidding him to lead demonstrations inBirmingham, King wrote the calm, well-reasoned "Letter from Birmingham Jail" to concernedcommunity leaders, explaining his participation in those protests. As keynote speaker for theMarch on Washington in August, King delivered his most famous speech, "I Have a Dream." Incontrast to the cool and collected style of "Letter from Birmingham Jail," "Dream" is highlyemotional, a hopeful vision of the future of race in this country. King realized that the March,with an attending crowd of over 200,000 as well as a national television audience, would be theperfect opportunity to gain support for the civil rights movement. He aimed to persuade hisaudience of the righteousness of the cause, encourage them to not abandon hope, and admonishthem that "[i]n the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongfuldeeds," declaring his belief that nothing positive is accomplished through violence . Hedesigned his speech with those goals in mind. King's understanding of the size and compositionof his audience determined the rhetorical choices he made while composing his speech.


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