Martin Luther King’s great speeches had three sources.
The Bible, and the Declaration of Independence, two great pillars
of the third one, the American dream, cut short by evil forces
which inspire all attempts to undermine that dream, American killers,
although it was a Jewish force that makes King to me more than merely special:
his extremely close relationship with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
In “The Content of His Character,” NYT, 5/28/23, Dwight Garner, reviewing King: A Life by Jonathan Eig, writes:
He lingers on the cadences of King’s speeches, explaining how he learned to work his audience, to stretch and rouse them at the same time. He had the best material on his side, and he knew it. Eig puts it this way: “Here was a man building a reform movement on the most American of pillars: the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, the American dream.”