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

By Richard Lischer | Go to book overview

6
From Identification to Rage

ONE Sunday morning in 1958 the novelist James Baldwin visited Dexter Avenue Baptist Church to hear its famous pastor preach. A harsh critic of the Negro church, Baldwin admits that he went to services that day anticipating "those stunning, demagogic flights of the imagination which bring an audience cheering to its feet." Instead, what he found was an incredibly humble man whose "secret," he says, lies "in his intimate knowledge of the people he is addressing, be they black or white, and in the forthrightness with which he speaks of those things which hurt and baffle them."

The most complex element in King's strategy of style was identification, which Kenneth Burke calls the rhetorical "principle of courtship." For the first decade of his career King worked incessantly to align the aims of the Movement with the values of moderate-to-liberal white America. His goal was the merger of black aspirations into the American dream. To do this he had to convince black Americans that his methods represented their best interests, and he had to convince white Americans that his vision was consistent with their heritage and in their best interests as well. Due to the growing influence of television, which allowed a Negro unprecedented access to white audiences ( Meet the Press, The Tonight Show) and his own intellectual background and rhetorical gifts, which granted him unprecedented credibility with white audiences, he carried out his mission of identification before a vast racially mixed audience. Even when he spoke to exclusively black or white audiences, he was in a very real sense addressing the vexingly mixed audience that is America. If that were not complexity enough, he campaigned for identification as a man of dark color in one of the most color-obsessed nations in the world.

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
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 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 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.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

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
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 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 8, MLA 7, 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." (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.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    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.