I Have A Dream Rhetorical

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In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a document that granted African American slaves their freedom, but after one hundred years, they still were not given the freedom that was promised in the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. uses his “I Have a Dream” speech and “Letter From Birmingham Jail” to compel people to make a change in the way African Americans are treated. Dr. King makes use of the persuasive language of logical and emotional appeal in his writings to defend African Americans’ freedom as well as to embetter the treatment of them. In Dr. King’s speech “I Have a Dream,” the rhetorical devices of logical appeal, otherwise known as logos, and emotional appeal, known as pathos, are utilized…show more content…
Dr. King uses his life experiences as a logical appeal to create an urgency to help the African Americans receive the freedom they were promised. King shares, “For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied” (para. 13). His uses of the persuasive language of logos helps to explain that African Americans have waited too long to receive the freedom they very well deserved. This evokes sympathy in the clergymen and makes them realize a change must occur. On the contrary, King utilizes emotional appeal to explain to the church officials that the way African Americans were treated does not deserve praise: “I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen…if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing out grace together, I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department” (para. 44). King implements the use of emotional appeal to convince his readers of clergymen that the Birmingham police force does not treat African Americans who were peacefully protesting as they
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