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We Shall Overcome

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Alden Mason

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome
Lyndon Baines Johnson, March 15 1965

Rhetorical Devices
The Rhetorical Devices used in this speech are Alliteration, Antithesis, Hyperbole, Metaphor, Paradox, Parrallelism, and Rhetorical Question
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in 1918 in Stonewall Texas. He served all four elected federal positions (Senator, Representative, Vice-President, and President) from 1937 to 1969. He was a titan of politics and served his country well. He died January 22, 1973, from a heart attack on his ranch in Houston Texas.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson was pleading to congress for a civil rights bill. He spoke of the audacious racist laws of the Jim Crowe South like the literacy tests. He said that this was not a black struggle but an American Struggle. He was fighting for the rights of all Americans and wanted to be the president remembered by furthering rights and education reform rather than conquering foreign nations.
Summary Of We Shall Overcome
Alliteration
Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant letters or sounds. LBJ uses this Rhetorical Device first saying, "I speak tonight for the
d
ignity of man and the
d
estiny of
d
emocracy.
Analogy
An analogy is a long metaphor or simile where an explicit comparison is made
Simile
A Simile is a comparison using like or as.
Antithesis
An Antithesis is when two contradicting ideas are next to each other or juxtaposed. LBJ used this when he said, "There is no cause for self satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights for millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our democracy in what is happening here tonight."
Hyperbole
A hyperbole is an exaggeration of a person, thing, or idea. LBJ uses this rhetorical device when speaking about segregation says, "It is to deny America and to dishonor the dead who gave their lives for American Freedom." This is an exaggeration becaus many veterans from the South believed in segregation and so then you would be fighting for and with them.
Metaphor
A metaphor is a comparison of two things without using like or as. LBJ uses this when saying, "In Buffalo as well as in Birmingham, in Philadelphia as well as Selma". This is a metaphor because he is comparing the racist environment of northern cities to that of southern cities
Paradox
A paradox is a contradiction that has a smidgen of truth. LBJ also uses this rhetorical devise when saying, "Extend the rights of citizenship to every citizen of this land." This is a paradox because African Americans were citizens but were not at the exact same time.
Parallelism
Parallelism is when a speaker will use the same sentence structure in two juxtaposed sentences. LBJ used this rhetorical device when he said, "So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week at Selma, Alabama."
Rhetorical Question
A Rhetorical Question is a question that needs no answer. LBJ asked a Rhetorical Question when he said, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
Structure
Thesis: "Extend the rights of citizenship to every citizen of this land."

Main Points: "There is no constitutional issue here. The Command of the constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong---deadly wrong."
"For at the real heart of the battle for equality is a deep seated belief in the democratic process."

This speech is a problem solution speech because LBJ calls congress for a Civil Rights Bill.
Full transcript