Rhetorical Analysis Of Alfred M. Green's Speech

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In April of 1861, the first month of the civil war, Alfred M. Green gave a speech to encourage his fellow African Americans to “prepare to enlist” and fight for the north. The north was fighting to preserve the Union and end slavery while the opposing side, the south, fought to defend slavery. Although they could not fight in the war, and did not want to, he felt that African Americans should “strive to be admitted to the ranks.” In his speech, Green uses many different methods to persuade them to join the Union forces. Green starts his speech by mentioning the belief that most American citizens share, which is true patriotism. In the speech, he states, “My country, right or wrong, I love thee still,” which is where he first brings up patriotism because you must have that belief that to be a true patriot. At that time, African Americans wanted to be treated like actual American citizens and mentioning that fighting for their side shows patriotism, pushed them closer to wanting to enlist so they could prove they were…show more content…
For example, when he states, “It is true, the brave deeds of our fathers have failed us,” he backs it up with, “our duty is not to cavil over past grievances.” Also, he expresses the idea that although people are saying they shouldn’t, they should fight for the Union anyway, which is another reason they might be against enlisting. Alfred M. Green’s speech encourages African Americans to prepare to enlist because of the many different methods he uses. He uses themes in his speech, patriotism and religion, to appeal to their emotions because he knew that African Americans wanted to be treated as American citizens and most of them were Christians. He also uses his word choice to sway them to enlist. For example, he uses “us” throughout the speech which makes it seem like they were all one and that they should unite and fight
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