What a Black Man Wants Rhetorical Analysis

1008 words 5 pages
Rhetorical Analysis of What a Black Man Wants Fredrick Douglas wrote and presented his What the Black Man Wants speech during the post civil war time period to demonstrate his straightforward views on the fact that even though the black race had just acquired freedom, they remained without equality and civil rights which gave their current freedom no meaning. Throughout his entire speech, Douglas rules over his audience with his parallel and emotional diction choice along with his assertive tone shifting towards anger and the answering of his own questions multiple times to emphasize his seriousness. When Fredrick speaks to his audience, he does not choose all his words with the separation of blacks and whites in mind. He uses words …show more content…

There is a recurring pattern as well. He asks each question at a minimum of two times each, immediately provided the answer to the specific question, stating the answer a few times as well, or even answering it with another question like he did in paragraph three when he says, “Why do we want it?...This is the sufficient answer. Shall we at this moment justify the deprivation of the Negro of the right to vote, because someone else is deprived of that privilege?” These questions he asks come directly from the white people, and maintain high topics of interest to Douglas. That’s why when he goes over each one, he tends to be more and more assertive and angry as he nears the end. He wants nothing more than to spark a change. He hopes that by making an emotional impact while dropping an anchor on top of them with all black peoples thoughts carved into it, that they will take responsibility and for once make justice. His rhetorical question from paragraph four where he imitates, “What shall we do with the Negro?”, his answer of “Do nothing! Leave him alone!” is an example of him being the spokesman for his race. Although this is demonstrated throughout the entire speech, it is more so present in the questions in the third and fourth paragraphs. He took a whole new approach and stated his opinions with a hope that his audience would make the right choice with the info. Just the fact that he


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