A Rhetorical Analysis Of Barack Obama's A More Perfect Union

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Introduction While responding to a controversy that endangered his presidential campaign, Barack Obama delivered a speech many consider to be one of the greatest ever given on the topic of race. The speech, titled A More Perfect Union, was delivered during the democratic national convention on March 18, 2008, in Philadelphia. The response was relatively positive. In the speech, Obama illustrates his involvement in and passion towards the racial makeup of America, however the reason for this speech is not shown until he mentions his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. In the weeks prior to the speech, Wright, an outspoken pastor, accused the government of committing hateful acts against black Americans. Wright was flagged as a black extremist, and because…show more content…
'" This is probably the most memorable use of autobiography in the speech, this is placed towards the end of the speech. It is the story of Ashley Baia, a young, white, Obama voter from South Carolina. During most of the 20th century, political leaders, especially in the southern states, gained political power by pitting working class whites and blacks against each other. It’s actually a rather fitting coincidence that the end of Obama 's story points in a completely opposite direction, through an old black man who feels a young white woman 's pain. By presenting this anecdote, Obama unleashes the appeal of unity upon the audience, by contrasting the fact of a young white girl sharing the same opinion with an elderly black man. The use of this juxtaposing yet consolidating statement persuades the audience to unify and merge together, even though they may be racially different. The effect of this anecdote on the audience is implicitly the opposite of what the racial divide has done. This further reiterates the message of unity, which is something that Obama intended to put to counteract the controversial statements of his ex-pastor Wright.
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