Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom: The Exodus Narrative in America's Struggle for Civil Rights

Overview


In this beautifully written book, Gary Selby shows how Martin Luther King, Jr. used the biblical story of Exodus to motivate African Americans in their struggle for freedom from racial oppression. Through an examination of King's major speeches, Selby illuminates the ways in which King drew from the Exodus narrative to offer his listeners a structure that explained their present circumstances, urged united action, and provided the conviction that they would succeed. Selby explains how King constructed a symbolic...
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Overview


In this beautifully written book, Gary Selby shows how Martin Luther King, Jr. used the biblical story of Exodus to motivate African Americans in their struggle for freedom from racial oppression. Through an examination of King's major speeches, Selby illuminates the ways in which King drew from the Exodus narrative to offer his listeners a structure that explained their present circumstances, urged united action, and provided the conviction that they would succeed. Selby explains how King constructed a symbolic framework for interpreting the setbacks of the Civil Rights movement, even as he challenged them to remain faithful to the cause.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book surprises the reader with discoveries that make its theme come alive with a renewed appreciation for how rhetorical subjects are embedded inextricably in the human experience. The writing is simple, clear, engaging, and often even exciting. Gary Selby helps us to grasp the power of rhetoric as a lived, experienced phenomenon. His work draws out King's use of Exodus in a manner that provides unsuspected depth of meaning and understanding.

—Michael Osborn, University of Memphis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602580169
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication date: 6/25/2008
  • Series: Studies in Religion and Rhetoric
  • Pages: 225
  • Sales rank: 833,566
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Gary S. Selby is the Blanche E. Seaver Professor of Communication at Seaver College, Pepperdine University.
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Table of Contents


Preface

Introduction

1 Rhetoric and Social Movements

2 Let My People Go: The Exodus in African American Cultural History

3 The Red Sea Has Opened: King's "Death of Evil on the Seashore" Sermon

4 Broken Aloose from Egypt: The Exodus in King's Montgomery Bus Boycott Rhetoric

5 Reaching Out for Canaan: King's "Birth of a New Nation" Sermon

6 I've Been to the Mountaintop: King as the Movement's Moses

7 Keep the Movement Moving: The Birmingham Protest

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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