I Have A Dream vs. The Ballot or the Bullet
Paul T. Gumm
November 3rd, 2012
During the time of the African American civil rights movement, there were many speakers that influenced the decisions made on behalf of this country. Memorable speakers conveyed their ideas through passion and conviction while appealing to mass audiences. Martin Luther King Jr., a black American, fought for civil rights in a passive manner through speeches such as “I Have A Dream” which showed the evidence of segregation but the inability for civil rights to backslide, and the need for unity between races. Malcolm X was a black American civil rights activist who used a more militant style when it came to civil rights. In his speech, “The Ballot or the Bullet” he reflected either the law was to change or physical action from African Americans would be justified. Both individuals showed a need for integration and civil rights while captivating a large audience on a broad scale. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech was a monumental demonstration that changed the face of civil rights in America. “I Have a Dream” was a piece that conveyed the Emancipation Proclamation as a beacon of hope for all Negros in America. Although African Americans were freed, King goes on to describe that blacks were still exiled in that they were still not awarded the freedoms and rights of every American. In King’s speech was a promise that “unearned suffering is redemptive” (Eidenmuller, 2001, Para. 12). In his speech, King directed his message not only to black individuals being persecuted, but every American, regardless of ethnicity. King’s tone was peaceful and appealing to the pathos of his listeners. He was able to stir emotions in a large mass of people by simple oration based on observation. King also uses what is known as anaphora, which is repetition of words, to properly deliver his view to the audience he was speaking to...
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