In consultation with the professor, complete a rhetorical analysis of the ways in which President Lyndon
B. Johnson, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Barack Obama “use” or deploy history to
further their unique political and social agendas in the three speeches below. How in particular do the three
speakers deal with the nation’s revolutionary history, with the Civil War and Reconstruction, with Jim Crow,
and with the more modern history of the civil rights era?
President Lyndon Johnson’s March 15, 1965 speech following the “Bloody Sunday” attack in Selma, Alabama
Martin Luther King, Jr. March 25, 1965 “Our God Is Marching On” speech in Montgomery at
the successful conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March
President Barack Obama’s March 7, 2015 speech on the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March:
Your essay should include enough detail that it will be clear to me that you have thoroughly “mined” the sources that you have been exposed to in the course that have a direct bearing on this topic in terms of
furnishing historical context for these three speeches. Your arguments should be supported where possible by the compelling use of evidence we’ve encountered in the course. Please do not embark upon research or writing for Option D without first consulting me to discuss your
approach to this topic.