Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

Reverends Frazier and King

In a short rhetorical reflection I will focus on the ideas that Rev. John Frazier brought to the table during the time that he spoke today during the performance. He began his speech with an introduction to what he was going to talk about and a background on himself. Frazier incorporated information on the time period as well as on information of his personal encounters with what was happening. By doing this, and sharing that if we google his name we could learn more information, he gained credibility. This can be identified as an ethos appeal.

One major trend I saw in his speaking was his inclination to use repetition to emphasize ideas and phrases. For example, he said “Ultimately _____ will not stand,” over and over, filling in the blank with different points. This drew my attention because I thought it must be important if he kept repeating it. Secondly, he had a similar repetitive strategy with the phrase “we have a right to ___.” Finally, he repeated the idea of change – change in our minds and environment – by explaining different ways to get to this, repeating the idea through different wording.

Frazier’s talk was full of personal experiences which evoked pathos from the audience in feelings of sympathy and being upset with what we are hearing.  One story which he keened in on was when he was taken to jail where he was beaten and bloody. After this, they poured whiskey into his wounds. This personal story highlights the agony and suffering he went through. No one would say that this event was “okay” or “justified,” which is why it so easily evokes feelings of sympathy.

Finally, toward the end of his speech he made an allusion to God through a scripture from the Christian Bible. It was here that he told us that we are all created to be special and that we can all make a difference.

In Frazier’s speech alone there was an abundance of rhetoric which helped to make the speech run smoothly and persuasively. I learned more about what African Americans had to go through during this time and how unwilling the government was to step in and help.

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Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

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