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Origins of the Dream
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Origins of the Dream: Hughes's Poetry and King's Rhetoric

W. Jason Miller

Abstract

Since Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, some scholars have privately suspected that King’s “dream” was connected to Langston Hughes’s poetry. Drawing on archival materials, including notes, correspondence, and marginalia, W. Jason Miller provides a completely original and compelling argument that Hughes’s influence on King’s rhetoric was, in fact, evident in more than just the one famous speech. King’s staff had been wiretapped by J. Edgar Hoover and suffered accusations of communist influence, so quoting or naming the leader of the Harlem Renaissance—who had his own reputation ... More

Keywords: Langston Hughes, “I Have a Dream”, J. Edgar Hoover, Martin Luther King Jr., poetry, rhetoric

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780813060446
Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813060446.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

W. Jason Miller, author
North Carolina State University