Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr's Our God is Marching On
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The Civil Rights Movement is a time when African American and Caucasian activists worked together to fight for the equality of all people. One of the great liberators of this time was a civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr., known for his nonviolent movements and uplifting speeches that could move large crowds simply by the tone of his voice. King also became notorious for several speeches including his I Have a Dream speech and his Free At Last speech, not putting an indentation on his other works. Of his less known works is Our God is Marching On, or commonly known as How Long, Not long? He gave this speech after the march from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to the steps of the Alabama Capital. Those who are familiar with some of his unknown works, classified it as one of his most exhilarating and moving speeches, leading the audience in sermon like chants and spiritual upraise. King uses ethos, logos, and pathos to appeal to the audience and gain followers for the Civil Rights Movement.
The speech has importance because it was given after the passing of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Montgomery bus boycott and after the march on Montgomery, it is said to be the speech that ended the first chapter of the Civil Rights Movement. He is installing hope into his listeners by saying that nothing will stop them, burning, bombings, killings- nothing will stop the movement. He says he knows how hard and tiresome it is but as long as