Malcolm X and Civil Rights

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The civil rights movement of the 1950s brought to light the atrocities and trials that the African Americans were put through on a daily basis. Malcolm X, an influential speaker and proponent of this movement, invigorates all people to stand up for justice and fight for proper civil rights. Through his rhetorical choices of sentence length, vivid imagery, symbolism and historical examples, X develops the three persuasive appeals, pathos, ethos and logos. Malcolm X attacks the white man for the hardships that the blacks of the United States have to endure on a daily basis. His words invigorate and evoke not only the African Americans but people of all races to stand up against the white man and fight for proper civil rights for blacks.

The exclusions of blacks from the history books infuriated Malcolm X, this was the beginning of his journey to becoming the proponent of civil rights. As a devout follower of Elijah Muhammad, X took to heart all of Eljah's teaching which "stressed how history had been 'whitened' -- when white men had written history books, the black man had simply been left out" (X 229). One can assume that Malcolm X would take this offense seriously and would take on the same ideas that the white man had made history his own without any recognition of the "black man" (229). With Malcolm X accepting and embracing this philosophy, his use of diction, explicitly differentiating between the black and white man, appeals to the readers sense of ethos. Due to X's diction in the passage, the reader now understands the basis of X's beliefs and philosophies. Not only that, but the audience can also understand the reasons behind some of X's choices and actions.

X soon became interested in black culture and history, but the vivid imagery of gore and pure degradation may not have been what he anticipated. Many of the certain events that X describes have a great amount of detail and imagery, which plays a major factor in developing emotions with the reader....
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