has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love.” There also was a large cultural diversity in his audience that he was going to have to be aware of, and he did so by acknowledging it out front and trying to relate to them, saying that he also felt in his “own heart the same kind of feeling.” He made them feel like their feelings were valid and rational, and that if they wanted to riot, that it would have been for good reason. This made the audience feel like he was speaking directly to them, as individuals, and that he was acknowledging their pain. By referring to specifically “those of you who are black,” he was individualizing the group he was speaking to and making the point more personal. While giving the speech, Kennedy used time to create a casual, speech-like rhythm, pausing many times to think before speaking, as if he was having a normal conversation and not giving a very serious speech. This most likely helped
with the comprehension of the information by the audience (Chuang & Hart, 2008). In terms of the ethos of Kennedy going into the speech, it was already established that he was a senator, which gave him some trustworthiness. His choice of more relatable words and when he mentioned that his brother had also been shot by a white man made him seem relatable to the black audience who lost their spiritual leader to the gun of a white man. Overall, this was a very effective speech, and that could be seen in the calmness of the city that night compared to the riots that happened in many other major cities. References Chuang, L. M., & Hart, J. P. (2008). Suburban American Punks and the Musical Rhetoric of Green Day’s “Jesus of Suburbia.” Communication Studies, 59 (3), 183-201. doi: 10.1080/10510970802257499 Stack, L. (2018, April 4). When Robert F. Kennedy Told an Indianapolis Crowd of King’s Assassination. New York Times. Retrieved from
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read both pages?