A Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Speech

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Ashlie Lovett Mrs. Williams English 1113 29 August 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Paper Martin Luther King Jr. was a vital character in the Civil Rights Movement. He grew up during a time when Jim Crow laws haunted African Americans all across America. Oppression was coursing through the veins of the country, but King spoke out against segregation and for justice and equality. In his speech, “I Have a Dream,” he uses the rhetorical device of ethos to establish credibility with the audience through his skin color, his American heritage, and his knowledge of history. Several times in his speech, King refers to “Negro people” (King 852) as a whole, something outside of himself. However, he also refers to them as “my people,” and then continues to imply his strong connection to those of his race and skin color through the repeated use of “we” during the course of the speech (King 853-855). He uses these phrases to connect with the audience, and gain their trust, so that they accept his values and opinion on the subject of racism and injustice.…show more content…
He believed in the ideals once brought forth by the founding fathers, he had “a dream deeply rooted in the American dream” (King 853). This dream is the base of his speech, a dream that he and every other American can come together and “let freedom ring…from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city” (King 855). By showing his dream is the American dream and not the Negro dream, he relates to and establishes credibility with not the only the African Americans in the audience, but also the White Americans in the
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