In and segregation. He also discusses police brutality against

In the famous speech “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. the citizens of America as a whole are addressed as his audience. Although its focus is to recognize the African American citizens, he also appeals to the general population, asking for equality and justice. One significant reason his speech is so effective and memorable is he develops a balance of the three rhetorical appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos appeals to the audience through logic and rationale. One way this is addressed is by referencing the rights of the Constitution. Dr. King explains how the document gives all citizens equal rights, which was not the case as non-white citizens were often denied their rights and freedoms through discrimination and segregation. He also discusses police brutality against blacks, which is a present and evident issue at the time that he wishes to end. Pathos is an appeal to the audience’s emotions. This is done in the speech a number of times, one specifically being when he says “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. This, among other statements Dr. King makes beginning with “I have a dream” is meant to leave an emotional impact on the audience. For example, as he relates the issue to his own family and children he is bringing authenticity along with his own feelings in the speech, allowing the audience to think of their own families and the people that matter to them. Ethos is used to add credibility to a speech. Dr. King utilizes this by referencing famous documents and Americans, such as Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Constitution. For example, when he says “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the emancipation proclamation”. Here he is referencing Abraham Lincoln, who came to be known as a incredible and influential president. By doing this, he is explaining how his argument is sided with a once very influential man that many citizens had come to look up to, which gives him more credibility. He also mentions the “unalienable Rights”, which come directly from the Constitution, a text the country is meant to live by. Martin Luther King Jr’s speech captured the attention of America through his skillful use of rhetoric. He addressed all types of citizens he could in order to ask them to stand with him in his fight. It was an incredible point in American history, and pushed the Civil Rights movement even further toward reaching equality.