The Preacher and the Fighter: A Fight for Equality
Present day United States of America. Freedom, racial equality, united with all its citizens. The United States of America as we know it would never have existed if racial equality was not given to the colored people of the country. There was a time in this nation’s history when the people of the United States were not equal. There was a time when colored people did not have well-funded facilities in comparison to the white people. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, two different human activists with different personalities and thoughts, were the key factors in the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the equality and freedom of the African-American by advocating nonviolence and trusting your enemies. Malcolm X also fought against racial injustice in the United States however, unlike King, X promoted self-defense. Both of these men engaged in fighting for freedom but the approaches were contrasting. In Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, King declares his belief in non-violence to be the answer. In “The Black Revolution”, Malcolm X wants the common black man to demand his freedom and his rights. While the goal of these two human activists are essentially the same, the usage of the different rhetorical devices display different strategies that can be used to provoked a social movement to change the world. The usage of a central metaphor, along with the repetition of words and an appeal to a higher authority, exists in both of these speeches but have a different effect because of the way they are used.
In Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he uses a metaphor to explain the racial inequalities that black people face in America. King begins by saying that “we [African-Americans] have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check” (King 289). King uses the check as a metaphor because everyone is familiar on the functions of a check. A check is used for the exchange of money. It is a sign of trust because to use a check, a person must trust someone (i.e. a bank) with their money. To withdraw the money that is held, a check must be written. In King’s speech, the African-Americans had been guaranteed the inalienable rights of life by the Constitution. When they are ready to withdraw their freedom, they are denied because “the Negro people” have “insufficient funds” to have freedom and thus are given a “bad check” (King 289). This becomes a sign of betrayal to King and this mark of insufficient funds is given to the African-Americans as a refusal from America to their equality. Furthermore, King declares his will to gain his freedom and “refuses to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt” (King 289). He continues by saying that there is no time for gradualism and there will be consequences if the black population does not receive their inalienable rights (King 290).
In the “Black Revolution”, Malcolm X uses a powder keg to explain the current condition...