Lyndon B Johnson We Shall Overcome Speech

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“We Shall Overcome” -- LBJ’s Speech Analysis

Lyndon B. Johnson, in his persuasive congressional speech, “We Shall Overcome”, which took place in Washington D.C on March 15th, 1965, asserted that the voting rights should also apply to African-American citizens. Mr. Johnson used a variety of rhetorical devices, such as climax, synecdoche, personification, ethos, logos, etc, in order to develop the art of his effective speech. On the purpose of persuading and convincing the congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, Johnson gave this speech during the meeting of congress on March 1965. His speech brought audience a mood of peace, at the meantime, created an ambience of equanimity, by using a formal, calm and confident tone as well as an appropriate diction.

50 years before, the Bloody Sunday Massacre took place in Selma in 1965, the state troopers attacked 525 civil rights demonstrators. Then, merely 8 days after this bloody tragedy, Johnson gave the speech “We Shall Overcome” to ask Congress for the legislation of Voting Rights Act and states that every man should have the right to vote no matter what race he/she is. Furthermore, he pointed out that the civil rights problems was challenging the entire country, not
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Moreover, he pointed out that a century has passed, since equality was promised, while the promise was not kept, the Negro was still not equal, with a rhetorical effect of anaphora and repetition of varying sentence length and type, built layer by layer, point by point. Eventually, he claimed the time of justice had now come at the climax during this part of
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