Rhetorical Analysis Of Lyndon B. Johnson's We Shall Overcome

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The 1960’s were an age of political unrest. There were many African Americans nationwide striving for racial equality. In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a speech to garner support from the members of congress to pass his proposed voting bill. Lyndon B. Johnson’s “We Shall Overcome” speech, uses the rhetorical appeals and repetition to push for racial equality in order to pass the Voting Rights Act.
Background Information
During the 1960s, the fight for equality based on race was progressive. Hence why this was known as the Civil Rights Era. Although Africans Americans had been set free from the chains of slavery, they had other injustices to endure. The 15th Amendment which states “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall …show more content…

Johnson was the 36th President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy (Encyclopædia Britannica. Lyndon) Johnson also served all four all four federal elected positions like Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President. Prior to becoming President, Johnson taught at a school for disadvantaged Mexican-American students (Encyclopædia Britannica. Lyndon). This firsthand look into their lives helped him shape his views on discrimination happening in America. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson also played a key role in the development of voting equality. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 in order to attack racial …show more content…

President Johnson includes in his speech, "All men are created equal." "Government by consent of the governed." "Give me liberty or give me death." By using quotes from the US constitution in his speech, he reminds the people of the American freedom and democracy in which the country was founded. Although he United States of America was lacking both of those at the time, he wanted to bring them back. Quoting the constitution also serves to correlates his ideas to be American. In addition, Johnson also talks about the discrimination that African Americans encountered when they showed up to vote.
The Negro citizen may go to register only to be told that the day is wrong, or the hour is late, or the official in charge is absent. And if he persists and, if he manages to present himself to the registrar, he may be disqualified because he did not spell out his middle name, or because he abbreviated a word on the application. He may be asked to recite the entire Constitution, or explain the most complex provisions of state

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