Booker T. Washington's The Atlanta Exposition Address

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Booker T. Washington was the most influential representative for black Americans between 1895 and 1915. During the time that the white and the black were rivals, he gave a speech before the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. In his speech The Atlanta Exposition Address, not only does he awake the black Americans to get involved into the industrialization, but he also asks for more working opportunities from the white. To reinforce his argument that the two races to cooperate together to push the South to prosperity, Washington employs multiple stylistic elements including parallel structures, peaceful diction and metaphor.
Use of parallel structure strengthens Washington’s argument. In paragraph 2, “it is not strange that
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At the very beginning, Washington addresses “one-third” to point out the huge population of the African Americans, emphasizing their importance at first (417). This diction reminds the white people that the black is significant to the whole industrial success. However, he uses an approximate fraction instead of accurate statistic to avoid being aggressive. Moreover, it responds to the description later that whether the one-third of population would motivate the industrial era or not depends on how the white values them. Throughout the whole speaking, Washington uses “we” to address the black, and “you” to address the white (418). The use of “we” builds up a emotional connection between Washington and the African Americans, making them share a common ground. Due to their same race and the constant repetition of “we”, the black people will believe that Washington is actually speaking for them. “You” creates a sincere tone, making the white feel that they are involved. These diction appeals to pathos, making the audience feel that they are invited to a conversation rather than a formal speech. By doing so, his audience is more likely to listen what he suggests. Through using these point of views, Washington appeals to emotional evoke, making his argument more

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