“The Atlanta Compromise Address”
Booker T. Washington, considered today as one of the most influential and respected African American figures, was born into slavery and was later freed by the revolutionizing effects of the Emancipation Proclamation. His charismatic and peaceful personality along with his role in philanthropic acts, politics, and negotiations soon turned him into a source of admiration shortly after the end of the civil war. He worked for the coexistence of blacks and whites and in his strive, he delivered his most famous speech, known as the “Atlanta Compromise Address”. In his speech Booker.T.Washington makes use of logos to logically try and convince his audience (the white American). In the introductory sentence Washington makes a statistical claim about the amount of African Americans who lived in the south at those times. “One-third of the population of the south is of the Negro race, no enterprise seeking the material, civil or moral welfare can disregard this element of our population and reach the highest success”. This statement makes an appeal to logos claiming that due to the fact that one out of three persons is an African American, whites and blacks will have to learn to co-exist in order for the economic developments to flourish. Through his use of logos Washington implies that racial conflict can be diminished if only other people are willing to be as reasonable as he is. He demonstrates that black people can be reasonable and civilized; this implicitly contradicts the racism of those who (at that time) would have claimed that black persons reacted emotionally and violently rather than intellectually when faced with a problem. In all ways Washington refutes many of the charges of racists not only through his spoken words but also through his particular personal example. In this speech Washington is a representative of the eight million African Americans, he thus reverts to ethos to prove the reliability and...
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