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The first assignment for my Intermediate Graphic Design class was to create a commemorative poster design honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King didn’t plan on including the phrase, “I have a dream,” in his famous address. It wasn’t until gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, positioned close by him, suggested that Martin, “tell them about the dream.” He then proceeded with, “I Have A Dream.” He went on to say during his speech,

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with the little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.


I found the phrase “having his lips dripping,” to be a very powerful and poetic metaphor that could be used for not only the hate speech and bloodshed of the time, but the power of words in general. The words of Dr. King’s speech still resonate with humanity decades later, and continue to elicit peaceful change around the world. I chose to symbolize this imagery with a nod to the pop art movement that was concurrently happening during the same decade as the civil rights movement.