Rhetorical Analysis Of I Want You To Know What They Did To My Boy

Superior Essays
In Bradley’s speech, I Want You to Know What They Did to My Boy, Bradley can be seen addressing the situated audience’s characteristics of being opposed to segregation, unbiased to the African-American perspective and willing to be informed while cultivating being a parent, being used by the American justice system because of color, and the empathy of losing a loved one as characteristics of Bradley’s imagined audience.
Throughout the entirety of Bradley’s speech, she attempts to address her audience, which is widely composed of people disagreeing strongly that segregation has been approached throughout the Civil Rights movement because of their willingness to participate in an NAACP rally. As Bradley states, “We’re not trying to start a race
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Favors states “Why don’t

Ebin 4 we challenge them? Why don’t we speak out? Why are we so cowardly? We are threatened with our jobs, our homes, our lives, we cannot stay here and speak out” (Favors 2). The imagery portrayed from the beginning of Favors essay helps to show the segregation and the fear that
African-Americans endure everyday which correlates with the purpose of Bradley’s speech as well. As she claims “Without that rich resource to be tapped and things that we are able to contribute, America herself would not be as great as she is. So I want to stand up now and I want you to stand up, too, and demand our place” (Bradley 26), exclaiming that the time has come for the African-American community to escape the void of silence and join her in the fight for equality and justice to their community instead of sitting by and letting their own children get murdered. Furthermore, another article that attempts to invoke empathy in their audience to express the claim of making a difference when it comes to segregation is “The Movement is in
You”: The Sunflower County Freedom Project and the Lessons of the Civil Rights Past, by
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Umoja claims that
“Voter registration workers were harassed by police and beaten in the streets of Jonesboro by white racist civilians in broad daylight, and mobs of young whites threatened the security of blacks in the evening” (Umoja 206), which provides a reasoning behind why African-Americans need to stand up for themselves and gather together to bring awareness to the treatment they are given. This relates to Bradley’s speech directly with the death of her son looming over her and her stating that “…thanked God that he felt I was worthy enough to have a son that was worthy to die for such a cause” (Bradley 26) which shows Bradley’s understanding that their needs to be a call to action, just like harassment by police, and once that call has been committed, groups will be willing and motivated to a cause.
To conclude, Bradley establishes her situated audience as being opposed to segregation because of their recognition with the NAACP but formats her speech through the usage of empathy. Bradley focuses on empathy because it is the most important factor in persuading a group to want to make a change, which is all Bradley aspired to do, she didn’t promote

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