American Rhetoric : Obama And Martin Luther King Jr.

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African American Rhetoric:

Barack Obama & Martin Luther King Jr.

Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. each deal with the issues of race and the African American struggle in their respective works. Both leaders use a combination of many rhetorical techniques in their arguments to make them more poignant and convincing. The two men make extremely strong and effective arguments that often rely on pathetic appeals to connect to their audience 's values. However, Obama focuses more on an ethical approach by including stories about his childhood and family history to build up his credibility, while King Jr. uses more logical statements to walk the reader through each part of his argument, step by step. Barack Obama gave his speech at the
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He takes two personal identities: African and American, and he truly combines them into African American, embracing his African roots while showing that he is as American as any white American. In the opening paragraph, Obama says: "My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant." In these statements, Obama quickly accepts his African roots, as he describes a situation that is almost completely foreign to the Americans in his audience. He describes his father 's life briefly, a life that most of his audience would not understand. With these short statements, he establishes that he is an individual and that his history is different from most of the audience 's. However, he immediately uses this difference to connect with the audience as he says: "But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place; America which stood as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before." In this quotation, Obama mentions multiple
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