Emancipation Proclamation Essay Example



The Emancipation Proclamation helped the African American by freeing the slaves of the Confederate states during the American Civil War, but one hundred years later after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed the African American people are still not free. The interests Dr. King has on this topic is social change and wanting to end racial injustice for African American. The context surrounding this speech is for all the people of all different colors to have justice and freedom. The larger conversation is to have every race to be treated equally. To get to the emotions of the audience and rational thinking to prove that all people are created equal, Dr. King uses pathos and logos.

Dr. King is using pathos to get through to the feelings of the audience. As a result, Dr. King says no one will be satisfied if African American’s are victims of the horrors, he says, “...of police brutality; we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities''(4). Therefore, King says that the people will be satisfied if only justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream and everything that is happening to the African American’s will be no more. In addition, he says that everyone from all different colors and beliefs, he says, “...will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last"(King 6). Hence, the spiritual lyrics were because it is saying they finally gained freedom. Moreover, the impact it has on everyone is it shows how much it meant that there was freedom at last and joyfulness. All in all, proving that pathos affects the emotions of the audience and draws a personal connection between the audience experience and the issue of social injustice. 

Dr. King uses logos to get across to the sentiment of the audience. For example, Dr. King believes that one day this nation will be able to rise up and live out the true meaning, he says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal"(4). Thus, King references the Declaration of Independence because it says that all men are created equal and he wants to prove that point. Likewise, the effect that it has is showing everyone it says in the “Declaration of Independence” something that is highly known that all men are created equal and should be right now. Furthermore, millions of African American slaves were set free because of this great American, he says, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation”(King 1). Further, that Dr. King the same as Abraham Lincoln wanted to end social injustice, slavery, and wanted for freedom for all the people 100 years ago when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. In short, demonstrating that logos affect the rational thinking of the audience and establishes a conclusion that is more difficult for the audience to dismiss. 

In conclusion, the Emancipation Proclamation supported the African American by during the American Civil War freeing the slaves of the Confederate States, but the African American people are not yet free one hundred years later since the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. The purpose surrounding this speech is for peace and liberty. In this issue, Dr. King's interests are change in society and wanting to end African American racial discrimination. The greater conversation is that every race should be treated fairly by all citizens of all different colors. Dr. King uses pathos and logos to get to the audience’s emotions and logical reasoning to show that all people are equal.