The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America

By Richard Lischer | Go to book overview

2
Apprenticed to the Word

KING rarely spoke publicly about the Sustainers and Reformers who preceded him or the influential mentors who formed him as a preacher. Perhaps he understood that American culture demands utter originality of its leaders or feared that if he acknowledged his debt to the black tradition, he would lose his credibility with white audiences. When he did reflect on his own rhetorical gifts, he never identified his real teachers, never praised the black Fathers or spoke of Africa, Auburn Avenue, or his Daddy's awesome power, but instead repeated the conventional principles of oratory as if he had merely plowed in the furrows of Cicero and Quintilian. The only on-the-record statement King ever made regarding his own preaching and oratory occurred in Atlanta a week after John Kennedy's assassination. King was sick and bedridden with the flu but nevertheless granted a long interview to a young graduate student in speech named Donald H. Smith. The interview exemplifies King's generosity as well as his reticence: he opened his home to an unstrategic academician but gave him a superficial account of his training that bypassed his apprenticeship in the African-American preaching tradition.

In the course of the interview, which was interrupted several times by the telephone and his baby son Dexter ("Dexter does not have the virtue of restraint"), King acknowledged that the spoken word was essential to the success of the Movement and that the style of any speech may be altered according to the makeup of the audience—maxims common to Aristotle, Quintilian, and any introductory text in public speaking. He also alluded to the venerable three Ps: proving an appeal to the intellect, painting an appeal to the imagination, and persuading by an appeal to the heart.

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Preacher King - Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America *
  • Preface *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • Prologue *
  • I- Preparation *
  • 1- Surrounded *
  • 2- Apprenticed to the Word *
  • 3- Dexter Avenue and "The Daybreak of Freedom" *
  • II- Performance *
  • 4- What He Received *
  • 5- The Strategies of Style *
  • 6- From Identification to Rage *
  • 7- The Masks of Character *
  • III- Theology and beyond *
  • 8- In the Mirror of the Bible *
  • 9- The Ebenezer Gospel *
  • 10- Bearing "The Gospel of Freedom" *
  • Epilogue *
  • Notes *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 344

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.