AP Green Analysis Rewrite
Alfred M. Green’s speech is aimed to convince African Americans to be persistent in trying to enlist in the Union army during the Civil War, although they were not yet permitted to do so.
To begin his speech, Green appeals to the patriotism of the African Americans. He wants them to prove to the rest of the world that while their country has treated them unfairly, what with slavery and segregation, they are still willing to fight and possibly die for it in hopes of one day being accepted. According to Green, only a man who truly possesses patriotism would fight for his country even after being wronged by it. In addition, Green mentions that although past attempts at being accepted as equal citizens failed for other African Americans including Washington during the Revolution and Jackson in the War of 1812, simply giving up the dream would dishonor the glory that was achieved by their forefathers.
Green then moves on to talk about past “injuries” caused to African Americans, such as the Dred Scott decision and fugitive-slave laws, in order to show that he is aware of the hardships they had to endure. He then says that it would be best not to grieve over these sufferings anymore, but rather let it inspire them to want to continue to try and enlist in the army, so that African Americans could one day be tolerated civilly and religiously by America.
Towards the end of his speech, Green begins to appeal to the religious views of the men. Since most African Americans at this time were Christians, Green mentioning that their god was “the God of truth, justice and equality to all men” made them feel obligated to want to help out in the war. He wanted them to “[trust] in God” that He will protect them while in battle.
This speech made by Green had a huge effect on the acceptance of African Americans into the army and into American society.