The Kings Rhetorical Prowess - Essay Example

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This research is governed by the following research question, which will aid in attaining objectives and aim of the research: Whose speech was more persuasive: Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" or Malcolm X's "Message to the Grassroots"?…
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The Kings Rhetorical Prowess
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Download file to see previous pages In accordance with the issues discussed in the paper although both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were eager to fight for the rights and freedom of African Americans, it was only the former who believed that this dream could be achieved through nonviolent means or by not troubling, disrupting, or angering the White people. Apparently, both speeches were powerful and persuasive. However, King’s speech was more persuasive because of the manner he presented his arguments; his was more charismatic than the speech of Malcolm X. King was diplomatic, whereas Malcolm X was exceptionally radical. King called for unity between the Black and White people, whereas Malcolm X strongly advocated complete independence from White supremacy, and a land for African Americans. King’s diplomatic tone is more suitable to the political and social environment of the 1960’s, which is a period marred by bitter racial conflicts. The 1960’s is the ultimate spin-off of the clash between the Emancipation Proclamation and Jim Crow laws. However, despite the oppression and maltreatment experienced by the Black people in America, they chose to continue their struggle for freedom and dignity in a peaceful, compromising way. They detested bloodshed. In the tumultuous period of the 1960’s, civil rights advocates chose to exercise nonviolent means, such as lobbying, civil disobedience, rallies, and so on, to bring about their desired reforms. Opportunely, the federal government responded to these pressures by ratifying several major reforms such as the 1968 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This event alone attested to the fact that the fight for the freedom and rights of the Black people can be won through diplomacy; no bloodshed, no revolution, is needed. The strength of King’s speech rests in his stylistic techniques and rhetorical devices. In his speech, he effectively used metaphors, personifications, and euphemism. He used metaphors to highlight the African Americans’ historical plight and struggles, and the possibility of uniting two very different races. Some of the stirring metaphors he used were as follows: “This is not time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism” (King para 8); “Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice” (King para 10); “With this faith we [Black and White people] will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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