Essay on Rhetorical Analysis of Artifact: The Ballot or the Bullet

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Rhetorical Analysis of Artifact: The Ballot or the Bullet

Speech Given by Malcolm X

I. Introduction: Though almost half a century has passed, the Civil Rights Movement remains one freshly imprinted in not only the history books of US schools but also in the minds of countless Americans. Albeit, American society has come quite a ways in the acceptance of the individual - regardless of sex, age, creed or ethnicity - prejudices of different sorts are still to be found throughout every one of the united states of America.

The Civil Rights Movement fought to overcome the racial inequalities inherent and ingrained in the minds of America's citizens and the government which they oversaw; it was
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It is a strong, unique argument and call to arms against any government which unjustly governs its law-abiding citizens.

II. Research Question: How does an individual, in this case - Malcolm X, incite a people to rise against their government, particularly through violent means?

III. Artifact Description: This speech, entitled "The Ballot or the Bullet", was given by Malcolm X; the speech itself was performed several times, however the analysis of this paper is based upon the delivery on 3, April 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio. Malcolm X gave the speech at Cory Methodist Church during a symposium sponsored by CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality.

"The Ballot or the Bullet" was one of many speeches which addressed a top issue in the United States at the time, that of civil rights. For a period of over twenty years, black Americans had actively been pursuing their civil liberties which they felt were being denied them.

Over this prolonged period of time, several events could be highlighted for their contribution to the progress of the movement. In 1942, CORE was founded and held its first session in Chicago. In 1946, President Truman created a civil rights committee which found racial discrimination to be a national problem, and shortly thereafter, the US Supreme Court banned segregation on interstate buses. Around 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged
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