Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Painting with Words

by Adriana Dakin on January 18, 2013

in Great People Talks

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Today when I went in search of what the Duarte folks (who bring you compelling visual presentations) are saying on their blog, Todd Cherches had this to say:

Among the many amazing features of Dr. King’s numerous classic speeches — including, of course, his iconic, “I Have a Dream” speech — was his use of “visual communication”… his talent and ability to paint pictures with words. While Dr. King drew on a variety of rhetorical techniques to “Educate, Engage, & Excite”  his audiences — e.g., alliteration, repetition, rhythm, allusion, and more — his ability to capture hearts and minds through the creative use of relevant, impactful, and emotionally moving metaphors was second to none. 

Here are some examples of how Dr. King painted visual pictures with his words:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”martin-luther-king-jr-day-L-xGOagM1

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is — what are you doing for others?”

And now, we’ll leave you with some get-on-your-feet quotes that Cheryl Contee of Fission Strategy shared on our team call today:

“A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back, but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.” – Marian Wright Edelman

“I ain’t Martin Luther King. I don’t need a dream. I have a plan.” – Spike Lee

What’s your plan? Make it happen! Be inspired about painting with words.

And go to this amazing archive of his work: http://www.thekingcenter.org/archive


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