Alfred M. Green Rhetorical Analysis

Ben Hash
Per. 2

On April of 1861, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Alfred Green delivered a speech to his fellow African Americans that would be remembered throughout history. In his speech, Alfred M. Green helped to unite the Union army by using various rhetorical strategies to express his arguments about why African-Americans should be allowed to enlist in the Union army. In his speech, Green makes a point that dwelling on the discrepancies of former white leaders of the past is not going to benefit the African Americans in the future, and that they must act now to improve their future status in society. Also, Green spoke with great confidence about the unfairness of the treatment of African American not only in the South but also in the North. Throughout the end of his speech, Green cleverly adds a point of view from a higher power many of the men can relate to; a prejudice-free God’s point of view. Green’s use of a variety of methods to persuade his fellow African-Americans to prepare for war successfully fulfills its duty, and at the same time speaks out against the treatment of the African-Americans in the North.
Green begins his speech by immediately mentioning the cornerstone of the American ideology; that American citizens believe in "freedom, and in civil and religious toleration." By reminding the African-Americans what America is founded on, he recognizes in them the desire to go to war against anyone opposing the idea. Green then, with the same principles, reminds the whites of their unfairness in denying the African-Americans their rights. The mention of the "Immortal Washington" and "Jackson" also appeals to the patriotism in the African-Americans, in a way that magnifies the oppression of the African-American people by the white man, particularly former leaders, and asks to set aside the past and move on to improve the social standards of all blacks alike.
Through the middle of his speech, Green begins to remind the African...