Free Essay with a Rhetorical Analysis of Malcolm X, Message to the Grassroots Speech

Published: 2022-09-05
Free Essay with a Rhetorical Analysis of Malcolm X, Message to the Grassroots Speech
Essay type:  Rhetorical analysis essays
Categories:  Literature Analysis
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 868 words
8 min read

Malcolm X is amongst the historical activists and outspoken characters that have delivered a significant challenge to the mainstream in the strive to defend his culture against the white aggression. In Malcolm X's speech "message to the grassroots," he delivered it in Detroit in a Christian church addressing an audience of African Americans. Within the speech, Malcolm X outlines a revolution and compares a black revolution with a negro revolution as his purpose is based on persuading the African American audience to be peaceful unify against the people benefiting from the white supremacy. However, this paper delivers a rhetoric analysis of the speech and outlines on the specific directions of the expression along with the message conveyed.

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In the speech, "message to the grassroots" Malcolm X uses different rhetoric devices to ensure that the audience understands his message along with other purposes such as a realizing his mission. The rhetoric devices include the use of appeals (ethos, pathos, and logos), parallelism, anaphora, metaphor and also imagery. At the beginning of his speech, Malcolm X commence by pointing out that both Americans and Black Americans have a serious problem that needs immediate attention, later ion, he describes what should be done to ensure the resolution of the problem. As he progresses with his speech, he defines the revolution and differentiates the "Black Revolution" from a "Negro Revolution." Through the beginning section of his speech, the appeal of ethos is evident. As ethos are a personal character of an individual, Malcolm X shows the appeal of ethos as he says "We believe good men more fully and readily than other... (Malcolm, 1963). " which helps build the credibility he needs through revealing to the audience that they have come together as a result of a common goal. Ethos is used to imply and show that all the speakers, as well as the audience (African Americans), are in harmony with the issue of America's problem. A significant example is a statement, "we all agree tonight, all of the speakers have agreed, that America has a severe problem. Not only does America have a severe problem, but our people have a severe problem. America's problem is us. We're her problem" (Malcolm, 1963).

Additionally, Malcolm X also uses logos and pathos. Logos deliver logic behind arguments and try to persuade an audience using logical arguments in rhetoric manner. Within the speech, Malcolm uses logos to ensure that the audience realizes that as they are non-violent, they are asked to turn violent for America, yet on the other hand cannot be violent against America when it is also violent on them. In the use of Logos, it is evident within the speech as Malcolm X quotes, "If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending our people, then it is wrong for America to make us violent in defense of her" (Malcolm, 1963).

Similarly, there is the use of pathos by Malcolm X as he flatters his audience. Pathos appeals to evoking an individual's feeling and stirring emotions regarding feelings already residing in them. In the speech, pathos is used to infuse statements and questions to persuade the audience into listening and arouse emotions, as well as point out a discrepancy regarding an argument for non-violence when America treats them with violence whenever they feel provoked and threatened. The specific part in the speech where pathos is used includes a section where Malcolm X talks of how his people are bleeding for the white people and are not willing to bleed for their own and compares the feelings to events in Alabama and Mississippi. Also, the differentiation of the "Black" with a "negro" Revolution is a section that implies on the use of pathos as the first section of his speech sets various emotional phrases that evoke feelings. These phrases include the use of words like, "common enemy" "You catch hell" along with other statements evoking feelings of oppression and suffering imposed by the white people.

Moreover, while the speech uses rhetorical devices (such as ethos, pathos, and logos) in a significant section of the statement, there is also the use of other literary devices. They include the use of imagery, metaphor, anaphora, and also parallelism. In the use of parallelism in the speech "message to the grassroots," Malcolm X uses it between an example pertaining the three revolutionary conflicts to ensure adequate insulation of his arguments for violence by revolution. Similarly, Imagery is used to imply on the fear of the white race after their blacks acquire the equity and freedom they want.

To sum everything up, "Message to Grassroots" is a speech assuming the use of important rhetorical devices that are filled with empowering words along with other literary devices meant to oversee the delivery of the entire message. The use of metaphors is of great significance in the speech by Malcolm X. metaphors show the direct link and connection to Africa by helping the audience understand how the African Americans came to the United States. It is evident through the speech as quotes (such as; "you came here on a slave ship..." and "Mayflower") are used.

Works Cited

Malcolm, X. "Message to the grassroots." (1963): 78.

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