Crafting Inspiration: Why Speeches of Abraham Lincoln & Martin Luther King, Jr. Still Motivate Us Today

Civil War to Civil Rights IconCrafting Inspiration:
Why the Speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Still Motivate Us Today

Monday, October 7, 2013 . 7:30PM
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Principal People: 

Department of History, University of Maryland Dr. Elsa Barkley Brown

School of Communications Design, University of Baltimore Dr. Steven D. Cohen

Department of Public Communication, American University Robert Lehrman

Mayor of Seat Pleasant, A City of Excellence Eugene W. Grant

Moderator Kojo Nnamdi

Event Attributes

An address at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and a speech on the National Mall in Washington, DC both mark important eras in our history. Why did the words from these speeches make such a dramatic impact on the historical memory of the United States?

Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches are separated by almost 100 years, yet they share a compelling similarity: both speeches make the seemingly impossible appear not only possible but desirable.

We’ll hear from Steven D. Cohen from University of Baltimore's School of Communications Design, Eugene W. Grant, Mayor of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Elsa Barkley Brown, a UMD professor specializing in African American history and political culture, and Robert Lehrman, who has been the speechwriter for dozens of Democratic political figures including Vice President Al Gore and is author of The Political Speechwriter's Companion. Panelists will illuminate how and why these speeches made such an impression on our national consciousness.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Maryland Humanities Council.

Creative Dialogues is a free conversation series designed to inspire cross-disciplinary conversations around issues that inspire and motivate artists to create their work.

Civil War to Civil Rights

This event is part of our Civil War to Civil Rights: The Well-Being of a Nation series.

Watch a video of the full Creative Dialogue