Barack Obama Selma Speech Analysis

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Sitanshu Biswas AP English Barack Obama’s Selma Speech On the 50th anniversary of the famous march from Selma, President Barack Obama gave, what is now regarded as, one of his best speeches. His speech was a dedication to the hardships that this country has overcome over the time period. Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers marched from Selma to Montgomery as a form of protest and as a symbol of the unity he wanted to see exemplified in the country. This was an integral moment in the long and hard fought battle for civil rights. President Obama was tasked with giving a speech that not only openly acknowledged and recognized what happened in Selma but also shed light on how far the nation has come since then. He has to be able to unify the people in the belief that America has a brighter future ahead. Obama accomplished this feat by reiterating the events of the past, using anecdotes and appealing to the emotions of the crowd. His speech starts off with the story of what happened in Selma. He says, “In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history – the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of…show more content…
The younger members of the crowd who never really knew what happened can learn about what happened and the older members who were actually alive when it happened can reminisce. By doing this, Obama builds the quality of ethos in his speech and the audience can more readily connect with him. Later he uses anaphora to further exaggerate the unity the American people have throughout the years. He says “We are the gay Americans whose blood ran on the streets”, “We are storytellers, writers,

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