Rhetorical Analysis

Abolitionist Rhetoric

The Presentation linked through the above image is an exploration into the rhetoric of two abolitionists, David Walker and William Lloyd Garrison. The analysis of the rhetoric used in speeches against slavery provides us with a better understanding of the abolitionist movement as a whole. These two men come from different backgrounds, and use varying tactics to persuade readers and listeners to join the abolitionist movement. No matter how different, these men shared a common goal of ending slavery and discrimination in this dark era of American history.

The abolitionist movement was an important piece of American history. Looking into the rhetoric of the time lets us see a little bit clearer just how these people used language to change the state of the country. Some abolitionist like David Walker were extremely bold and used harsh and fiery rhetoric to shame those guilty of supporting slavery, while others such as William Lloyd Garrison took a different approach and spoke to encourage change and support. These two tactics are part of a large spectrum from extreme to moderate rhetoric in terms of the movement. Each of these tactics plays an important role in the movement.


This presentation was a collaborative project by myself, Emily Mimbs, Aneka Bailey, Kelsi Shobe, and Sam Lawrence

William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer.
There are no concrete photos of David Walker. The above image is the one that was on the cover of Walker’s Appeal

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