assimilation vs annihilation

assimilation vs annihilation - Julian Neri Jorge Santos...

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Julian Neri Jorge Santos English 1010-03 September 10, 2008 Assimilation vs. Annihilation The civil rights movement of the 20 th Century was a period of time when many voices were eager to be reverberated through the ears of society. Through different mediums, activists and rights leaders put forth their arguments concerning the adversity of their race. The medium chosen by the writer is as important as the words that are transcribed through it. Therefore, in trying to be as effective as possible with words, these authors chose the medium that suited their argument and purpose depending on audience, argument, and time-span. In many ways, a prepared speech is a very effective medium when presented before the right audience. During the civil rights movement, famous activist Malcolm X presented his “Bullet or the Ballot” speech to call on his followers and the neutral to make change in the country. His speech is unwritten; he is speaking off the top of his head. This provides him with the emotion of improvisation and to have a discussion with his audience instead of a recital of words. However, speeches have dangers as well as many restrictions. Malcolm X is speaking without a censor, which could hurt him if his words aren’t delivered carefully. In addition to the dangerous uncensored nature of a speech, the speaker cannot choose his audience either. Malcolm X touches on this realization in the introduction to his speech, saying “I think we’d be fooling ourselves if we had an audience this large and didn’t realize that there were some enemies present” (Malcolm 1). Malcolm X is aware of the temporary nature of his speech, however, and utilizes the medium to the fullest extent, covering the set backs of an unwritten
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presentation and short length of his words. One way that Malcolm X was sure to use the medium effectively was through repetition of his words. In a novel, letter, or sonnet, a reader can turn back a page and re- read the words of the author in order to solidify the meaning in their memory. Speeches do not have this capability because the audience is listening in real time to the presenter. Malcolm X repeats important lines of his speech to be sure that his point is being heard. The phrase “Black Nationalism” is brought back into conversation repeatedly as well as stutters of speech like “We must, - we must” to emphasize his argument. An example of his repetition as well as the sound of disparity in his voice are apparent when he states “The time – the time – The time when white people can come in our community and get us to vote for them so that they can be our political leaders… is long gone” (Malcolm 1). In his eyes, change needs to occur immediately. There will not be a slow morph of social
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2011 for the course ENGLISH 1010 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at UConn.

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assimilation vs annihilation - Julian Neri Jorge Santos...

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