“This is one country. It has become one country because all the people who came here had an equal chance to develop their talents.” --John Fitzgerald Kennedy
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’”
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It can be said that equality during the time of the Civil Rights Movement may have only seemed like a dream. Today people of any race can dine together in the same restaurants, drink from the same water fountains, and shop from the same stores, with much thanks to two significant men: former President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While both men pursued equality of all races, each went about it very differently.
Former President Kennedy was a well-liked and prominent man from Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the youngest president to ever hold office in history; he had charm and charisma unlike any other. He was a navy veteran of World War II, among other achievements, including graduating from Harvard. On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy gave a speech on Civil Rights that would legislatively get the ball rolling on widespread public equality. The moving speech was wonderfully written with enthusiasm; however, coming from a politician, one could argue his true sincerity to the issue and wonder what could be gained politically by this speech. While Kennedy may have cared about the well-being of his citizens, he did have a lot to gain by his speech: political popularity. He could have marketed a campaign on equality to be re-elected for a second term. The audience of his Civil Rights speech is worth noting; most all of them were white and potential voters. None of these individuals could possibly have any idea how African Americans were treated, as they themselves never had to experience the shorter end of ...