Influential African American Leaders
Leadership is a position everyone desires to have in life, but with the title comes great responsibility. We have been honored to have great African American leaders both in the past and present. There are several skills that a leader must possess, but one of the most vital skills I believe a leader should have is the ability to communicate. Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and President Barak Obama are great examples of how rhetorical speeches will not only persuade an audience, but will draw the support that is needed to fulfill an assignment. In this essay, I will discuss the rhetorical strategies that these men used in order to communicate their message effectively to their audience(s).
A rhetorical message can be defined as a speech that is used to persuade a specific group of people. The primary agenda of the speaker is to not only cause the audience(s) to believe their message, but to cause the audience(s) to act and support what the speaker stands for. Therefore, it is important to know the beliefs, values, and credibility of the speaker and the beliefs and values of the audience. Knowing the background information of the speaker(s) and audience(s) will help us to understand how the speaker tailors a message in order to effectively reach their audience(s).
One influential leader among African Americans was Booker T. Washington. In his autobiography, Up From Slavery, he describes his life as a slave; his education after freedom from slavery; and discusses people who helped him succeed in life. Mr. Washington was a race leader who saw himself “lifting as he rose.” As he succeeded, he wanted to help others succeed. The highlight of Mr. Washington’s autobiography was in his speech entitled “The Atlanta Exposition Address.” In this speech he was not only representing himself, but he represented the entire Negro race.
By examining The Atlanta Exposition Address, it can be said that Mr. Washington...