Rhetorical Analysis of "The Mexican-American and the Chruch" Speech

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Stefano Rivolta

March 10, 2010

Contextual Analysis:
“The Mexican-American and the Church”

The impact of one single speech can essentially affect the entire world. Granted, there are different degrees of impact felt: those present at the speech, those who watched/heard the actual speech from somewhere else, those who heard some things about it from someone else, and so on and so forth. As the speaker’s message experiences a sort of ripple affect, it calms and becomes less and less dynamic. The main point, or gist, of the speech endures but potentially valuable details; those pertaining to the speaker himself, the location, the timing, current social, political, and economic climates, flake off. Understanding the context is vital when one wishes to understand a speech. Therefore, using Cesar Chavez’s “The Mexican-American and the Church” speech from Sacramento, California on March 8, 1968, I will demonstrate my contextual analysis.

THE 1960’S

First off, I’d like to briefly describe the time in which the event took place with regards to American society and politics. The turbulent sixties varied greatly from the conservative fifties and, eventually, resulted in revolutionary ways of thinking and real change in the cultural fabric of American life. National facets such as education, values, lifestyles, laws, and entertainment were all apart of the change. Many of the revolutionary ideas, which began in the sixties, are continuing to evolve today.  (Lonestar College Library) The Civil Rights movements made great changes in society in the 1960's.  Black activists, such as Stokely Carmichael and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior lead sit-ins and peaceful protests as the philosophies of Malcolm X preached Marcus Garveyism, or Black Nationalism to African Americans. Women’s rights activists like Betty Friedan, Pauli Murray and Gloria Steinem, contested the unequal treatment of women and began the Women's Liberation movement. However,...
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