Prevailing argument/ Intro to rhetorical analysis

James Baldwin once said, “To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage”. The Black community in America has had a long and ongoing battle for equality and basic human rights, for respect. It stems from a skewed and ignorant perception, quickly turned to hatred and bitterness. Today, society still struggles with social justice and how to catapult social change into action. A labyrinthian problem with no clear-cut path to justice, we look to the past to educate ourselves, and to the future for hope. In 2015, Toni Morrison, Nobel and Pulitzer prize winner, wrote Sweetness, published in The New Yorker. This fictitious short story presents racism in America as a highly complex and nuanced situation delving into the perception of African Americans from within the African American community itself, with a mother narrating the story of raising her black daughter. This mother, unnamed, is black, but her daughter is far darker than she, a white-passing black woman, is. Vantage, a poem written by Natasha Trethewey in 2015 grapples with her memories growing up to a back mother and white father and how society viewed her family. She does so in connection to the day of the moon landing in 1969, a day remembered as unifying and joyous. Both Toni Morrison’s short story and Natasha Trethewey’s poem shed light on the theme of Racism in America in regards to how African Americans are perceived in society. Both authors utilize Point of view, Imagery, symbolism, and Irony in order to successfully express how the black community in America has been perceived throughout history. They use these rhetorical devices in order to present seemingly contradictory racial identities in the United States and subsequently show how society wrestles with intersectionality.

One thought on “Prevailing argument/ Intro to rhetorical analysis

  1. Do not italicize “Vantage” and “Sweetness” because “Vantage” is a poem, and “Sweetness” is a short story. Poems and short stories are not italicized because they are not large works. I think you should make your prevailing argument one sentence so that the reader can focus on the rest of the rhetorical analysis because breaking it into three sentences threw me off

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