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The Civil Rights Address By John F. Kennedy

1082 words - 4 pages

The Civil Rights Address given by John F Kennedy was an influential and moving speech that sought to free blacks from the on growing oppression in the United States. John F Kennedy’s speech was given to address the American public on the brutality of discrimination. His point was to convince the public that is was time to give the blacks the rights the constitution gives them. The picture I chose to go with it also revolves around the Civil Rights movement and is title “I am a man”. This picture shows a large group of African American man holding signs saying “I am a man”. Both JFK’s Speech and the picture “I am a man” utilize the appeals to convince readers of a specific side. For JFK’s Speech he seems to use all three approached to convince us that discrimination is just as cruel and vile as slavery. As for the photo “I am a man” it uses the approach of only pathos to communicate the point.
In his speech Kennedy uses the approach of Logos to strengthen the idea the African Americans and Caucasian men have not been given equal right and opportunities. The way logos was used in his speech greatly assured the public that action needed to be taken immediately. He provided both reasoning and logic to better forward his point that a change needed to be made. One area specifically he states, “The Negro baby born in America today, regardless of the section of the state in which he is born, has about one-half as much chance of completing a high school”. The statistics that John F Kennedy provides seriously strengthen his argument, with logic and statistics to back up his argument it creates a stronger pull. John F Kennedy also makes the statement “…about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year,” showing the difference in wages between African Americans and Caucasians. His correct use of logos is powerful when it comes to convincing the public on the idea of wrongful discrimination.
Kennedy had such a powerful way of speaking. Though logos was used in his speech ethos is the one that stands out from the crowd. His words were not overthought and his sentences structured in a way that all Americans could listen to the speech and understand his ideas. He presented himself in a way that made it quite clear he knew what he was talking about. His words were meaningful and straight to the point, he didn’t often dance around a subject but instead laid down the facts clearly and structurally. Instead of being vulgar or inappropriate to the subject he was respectful and simply asked Congress to end discrimination and take action against the atrocities that were taking place in the country. Kennedy showed his respectfulness and loyalty when he stated, “It is time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives.” Kennedy’s speech shows him as a respectable man, and his simple but direct approach showed the need for immediate action.
Besides having a powerful use of ethos, Kennedy uses pathos to...

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