Barack Obama Acceptance Speech Essay

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At the Democratic Convention in 2008, Barack Obama held an acceptance speech after winning the primary election for the Democratic party, leading him to be a candidate for the presidential election in the United States against the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain. Throughout his speech Obama makes numerous references to American history, this paper will focus on Obama's use of American values and historical references throughout this excerpt from the speech.

In his speech, Barack Obama said: “I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don’t fit the typical pedigree, and I haven’t spent my career in the halls of Washington.” Pointing out he has not spent his career in the job and place that most
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Referencing to the historical “I Have A Dream” speech, held by Martin Luther King in Washington D.C., 1963. Martin Luther King’s speech focused on his experience with oppression because of his skin tone and ethnicity. In his speech, he says that his children and grandchildren should not have to experience the discrimination that he did, he preached of unity, an end to prejudice and an end to racism in the United States. By mentioning this highly memorable speech, Obama is referencing to a historical event, making use of the mode of persuasion known as ethos. He is appealing to experience; how much America has changed since that day in 1963 as a kind of evidence that they can do that again. By mentioning the speech, he additionally touches the same subject as in the MLK speech, such as unity and equality of opportunity. Furthermore, he uses the speech to remind Americans of how far their country has come from the “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963, to today where anyone of any color or ethnicity is equal – although, it can be argued against if this statement is still
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