President Kennedy's Speech on Civil Rights
This paper analyzes the rhetoric of persuasion used in President John F. Kennedy's speech on civil rights from June 11, 1963.
# 62355 | 915 words | 2 sources | APA | 2005
Published on Nov 21, 2005 in Communication (Language and Speech) , History (U.S. Presidency) , African-American Studies (Civil Rights)
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This paper explains that Kennedy's speech of June 11, 1963 implements effectively various rhetorical techniques portraying not the acceptance of racial integration to create tension against peace and order but rather a dynamic, complete commitment towards the accomplishment of a new social order in which racial segregation becomes socially intolerable. The author illustrates several linguistic features of the speech which generate particular reactions that can lead to applause and approval: (1) the three-part list, (2) the repetition of a key idea or phrase, (3) the use of contrastive pairs and (4) the use of pronouns. The paper concludes that the speech is particularly impressive because of the strong personal engagement of the President who presents himself as a figure of moral leadership working for a just foundation, with regard to the basic values of the American society.
From the Paper:"The Civil Rights Movement's began when the Supreme Court, as a result of a court case initiated by the NAACP (the case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas; insistent in opposition to racial segregation) confirmed racial segregation in schools, universities and other public institutions unconstitutional, therefore bringing to an end the era from 1896, during which the functioning standard was "separate but equal". Separate but equal meant that African-Americans had separate schools, railroad cars, buses, restaurants, bars and recreational facilities, but that they hardly ever were equal."
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