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John F Kennedy Civil Rights Address - Research Paper Example

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From the research it can be comprehended that the ultimate aim of President John F. Kennedy's “Civil Rights Address” is to turn public opinion in favor of a nationwide legislation towards abandoning racial discrimination…
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John F Kennedy Civil Rights Address
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"John F Kennedy Civil Rights Address"

Download file to see previous pages worldwide struggle towards equal rights and goes on to argue that all Americans irrespective of their color should be offered equal treatment in places of public accommodation. He purports that every American has a moral obligation to be treated equally. It can also be observed that rhetorical devices such as the choice of diction, imageries, statistical data, and tone contribute to the persuasiveness of the speech. For instance, the use of phrases such as “ought to be possible” and “ought to have the right” clearly emphasize this sense of moral responsibility towards equal treatment and freedom. This has been aptly suggested by Newman when the author states: “the repetitive use of "it ought to be possible" is an effective way to point out the different levels of freedom that restricted the average Negro citizen” (Newman). Kennedy also seeks the help of statistical data (such as ‘one-half’, ‘one-third’, ‘twice as much’, and ‘half as much’) to convince his audience the white-black disparity that governs the society. Similarly, in his speech, Kennedy offers a number of instances where unequal treatment and discrimination is shown toward the Negros. These instances are capable of creating so many vivid images or mental pictures in the minds of the audience. President Kennedy then directs his audience towards the depth of the issue and leads the audience to think about the possible solutions. He makes it clear that segregation and discrimination is prevalent in almost all states of America and calls for the need to frame new legislations to tackle the issue. However, he warns his white audience that the nation is ‘confronted primarily with a moral issue’ and exhorts everyone to ask their conscience whether they are able to grant ‘equal...
The intention of this study is "Civil Rights Address" by John F Kennedy. as a landmark in the nation’s pursuit towards abandoning racial discrimination and segregation. All throughout the speech, Kennedy persuades his listeners/audience to ensure civil rights, racial equality and equal treatment in the nation. The address is quite persuasive in nature and President Kennedy has successfully employed various rhetorical strategies all throughout the speech. No doubt, the speech appeals to the ethos, logos and pathos of the audience; stylistic features such as the use of imagery, appropriate language, and tone enhance the credibility and persuasive nature of the discourse. The speech can also be understood as President Kennedy’s attempt to defend and justify his controversial decision to admit two qualified Negroes into the University of Alabama in Birmingham. One also needs to keep in mind there were ongoing demonstrations, parades and rallies for equal civil rights within the nation. The speech clearly points out two key issues that haunt the American society-racism and prejudice. Thus, the speech offers the audience a thorough understanding of the speaker’s concern over the current issue of segregation in the nation. This paper tries to identify the specific rhetorical aspects of Kennedy’s speech and in doing so the paper seeks to draw evidences from the address as well. Kennedy's “Civil Rights Address” blends a variety of rhetorical elements and it is this address which paved the way for equal civil rights in America. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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