Rhetorical Analysis Of A Talk To Teachers

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James Baldwin's speech "A Talk to Teachers" addresses how the paradox of education is when one begins to examine and become aware of the society in which he is becoming educated in. The purpose of education is to merely teach a person how to look at the world for himself - to create an identity for one's self. When he starts to question the universe and then learn to live with that of which he questioned, an identity is then created. Baldwin uses diction, repetition, and parallelism to argue that Negro students are being taught myths and lies about their ancestral history leading to the alteration of their dehumanized identity. Baldwin uses diction to illustrate how education is being controlled by American society which consequently results …show more content…

In comparison to the multifaceted American society, the education curriculum that teachers go by, teach Negros myths about their own ancestral background. Teachers teach Negro students about the astounding "heroic" ancestors that came to the New World, from Europe on the Mayflower, because these "heroes" wanted to be free. However, this isn't true. In reality, these so called "heroes" came over to the Americas because they couldn't make back in Europe. Baldwin later describes these settlers as "poor", "hungry", and "convicts." These convicts wouldn't have traveled over to the New World if they were making a good living for themselves in Europe. Yet, the American education systems teaches Negros that the only contribution they have and ever will make within society is their devout devotion to white people. Negroes are told these myths from a very young age, ultimately being brainwashed to think that whites have more of an advantage over blacks. This has resulted in white supremacy, meaning whites are supposedly inherently becoming superior over other races, essentially having …show more content…

In paragraph three, Baldwin states, " he is assured that it represents a nation which has never lost war...he is also assured by his country and countrymen that he has never contributed anything to civilization...he is assumed by the republic that he, his father, his mother, and his ancestors were happy...that the value he has a black man is proven by one thing only - his devotion to white people. " The American education system has been altered to the point of which the lies about American culture has become the truth in American society. The education system has been altered to fit the needs of rich whites who don't want Negroes to know about the contributions their ancestors contributed to society and American history. This being said, people don't want to accept the truth, the fact that the so called "heroes" of American history are nothing more than a bunch of convicts who couldn't make it back over in Europe. The fact that these convicts enslaved Negroes who were in fact making it back in their homeland which they were deprived of. America has lost a war, a war of right and wrong. This right and wrong of identity and the truths behind the identity that hides in the "shadow of the stars and stripes." This identity lies behind the menaced history of American

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