Barack Obama’s Selma speech explores topics like the importance of the Selma marches, confronting present challenges in America, and unity. Through these topics, Obama creates a link between the past, the present, and the future and presents the idea of unity between Americans as a solution to current issues like poverty, racism, and inequality.
The speaker’s overall intention with his speech is to honor the marchers at Selma and, through their image, to encourage the American people to unite again in a fight for equality and freedom.
Honoring the Selma marches
To achieve his intention of honoring the marchers at Selma, Obama highlights their sacrifice and patriotism as he describes the historical circumstances of the Selma march, the humble origins of the marchers, and the violence the marchers endured as they asked for their rights to be respected.
Often, the speaker achieves his intention through the use of rhetorical devices such as allusions and references, imagery, metaphors, parallelism, rhetorical q...