Malcolm X

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Edward Adams
March 21, 2013
English, Block 2
Malcolm X
The idea of conveying ones thoughts through speech and text has been around for over two millennia and maybe more. However the effectiveness of speech can be aided by the use of rhetoric. Rhetoric is a set of tools known as; ethos, pathos, and logos, these tools are meant to properly convey the idea and belief and effectively move the audience in the direction you so desire. In the United States during the civil rights movement, speakers like Martin Luther king junior and Malcolm X used these tools well too their advantage. Ethos meaning ethics, Pathos meaning emotion and Logos meaning logic are the most effective tools when used by the most suited people. Malcolm X was, and is one of the greatest speakers of all time.

In Malcolm X’s most famous speech, “The Ballot or The Bullet” grabbed the hearts and minds of the Black population in the civil rights movement during the 60’s. In the Speech he first uses the tool of Logos and effictivly blames the American government for not creating the environment for civil rights. He states, “Why can't they pass something that will help you and me? In the Senate, there are 67 senators who are of the Democratic Party. Only 33 of them are Republicans…And what have they [Democrats] given you for it? Four years in office, and just now getting around to some civil-rights legislation.” The use of Logos in this paragraph is using the statistical data to draw a sensible conclusion. Logos can often be one of the hardest tools of rhetoric to use in a speech.

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum pathos, when used effectively, can help move an audience to high or low extremes. Some speakers have been able to incite anger or fear or respect in their speeches. Malcolm X’s audience was black Americans, who have been rejected, brutalized, and torn to pieces by what the Muslim Brotherhood calls “the white devil”. Amongst the angst, anger and passion Mr. X brings to his...
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