We Shall Overcome Speech Summary

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Diana Trujillo Joaquina Reed COMM 1315-102 12 Dec 2015 Let Us Get Things Straight and Make Them Equal “There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is not Northern problem. There is only an American problem. And we are met here tonight as Americans – not as Democrats or Republicans. We are met here as Americans to solve that problem.”( Johnson, 2009). This quote is my personal favorite of the whole “We Shall Overcome” speech. It made me realize that there should be no division in the United States and that we must work as a nation to fix the problem at hand. I had first heard about this speech a few weeks back in my national government where my professor played it for my class. It caught my attention because my whole life,…show more content…
Johnson’s secondary audience would be anyone who saw the speech out of the House of Chambers such as those who saw it on television at home, read the newspaper on the event or like me saw it on the internet. Both the live and secondary audience received Johnsons’ words with respect for his opinion on the matter at hand. In the same way, both audiences received the speech with respect and an open mind for change. Johnson won the audience over with his word causing a constant applause throughout and a standing ovation once the speech ended. Not only was their immediate response a result of Johnsons’ successful speech but also the fact that the bill was passed promptly…show more content…
Johnson used pathos by giving this speech a week after the unfortunate events at Selma since the image of the event was still present in their minds. This was a well thought out way to help him recruit support for the cause. Johnson used the Selma as a problem to make Congress see that the passing of the bill was the only credible solution in solving the issue once and for all. Johnson also used ethos but including himself along to everyone else in the problem with “we shall overcome”. This shows he acknowledges he was just as much as part of the problem as anyone else was. Throughout the speech Johnson gave his sense of hope for change and strived to accomplish the pass of the equal rights bill. In addition, Johnson used logos by referring to the Constitution to support him and the measures that needed to be taken when he stated, “There is no constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain.” (Johnson, 2009). Johnson also went as far as to remind everyone, “It was more than a hundred years ago that Abraham Lincoln, a great President of another party, signed the Emancipation Proclamation; but emancipation is a proclamation, and not a fact. A century has passed, more than a hundred years, since equality was promised. And yet the Negro is not equal. A century has passed since the day of promise. And the promise is un-kept.” (Johnson,

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