What Is The Rhetorical Methods Of Martin Luther King And Malcolm X

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Martin Luther King and Malcolm X go down in history as the most prominent figures of the civil rights movement. Although they are often put against each other because of their different approaches, they were similar in several ways, such as their ability to make crowds grasp on to their words and follow their lead. So the question to be asked is not whether Dr King or Malcolm X was better, more moral, or logical, but what about them was so alluring to the masses that trusted them as leaders in the movement.
Both Martin Luther King jr. and Malcolm X manipulated the emotions of audiences through powerful rhetorical methods, but applied them in different ways. As Martin Luther King led the Montgomery Improvement Association which organized the …show more content…

Furthermore, in The Century: America’s time: Poisoned Dreams, civil rights activist Bob Zellner stated that SNCC was “developing a nonviolent army”. As the movement gained momentum and more demonstrations were being organized, activists were countered with violence of an increasing degree. A source of solace throughout their hardships was the sense of kinship and faith, which was another rhetorical method Dr King often used. For instance, in “A Letter From A Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King alludes to figures in the bible to mirror his dissemination of hope, kinship, and love; “ just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.” Finally, Martin Luther King thoughtfully utilized figurative language to compel audiences and elicit an emotional response to ideas of discrimination, poverty, and racism. In particular, Dr. King uses similes in his “I Have A Dream” speech on various occasions, such …show more content…

A quote mentioned in The Century: America’s Time: Poisoned Dreams, by James Baldwin, represents the mindset of many African Americans in the ‘60’s: “To be a negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” Many African Americans grew tired of the violence and injustices they faced “at the hands of the white man.” Due to this, Malcolm X advocated for Black autonomy. Malcolm X often used religious allusions to compare the Black struggle to divine struggles for justice and liberation in religious texts. An example, is Malcolm X’s use of the concept of Jihad to describe the struggle for Black liberation, stating that it was a righteous fight against oppression, sanctioned by God; “We are living in an era of revolution, and the revolt of the American Negro is part of the rebellion against injustice taking place all over the world. … Our struggle is a Jihad, a holy war.” In addition, Malcom X used repetition in his speech to emphasize certain points and make his messages more memorable. In “The Ballot or the Bullet” Malcolm X says “ we want freedom now, but we’re not going to get it saying ‘We Shall Overcome.’ We’ve got to fight until we overcome.” By repeating the phrase “We Shall Overcome” and then rejecting it as a viable solution for achieving freedom, Malcolm X emphasizes

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