Alfred Green on Patriotism and the End of Slavery

1861- The Civil War began and brought attention to everyone the issues of slavery, freedom, and the unification of the North and South. During this time, African Americans were going through some difficult times because many of them were slaves, and were discriminated. These things brought the idea of hatred and bigotry to our growing nation. One author who believed that African Americans should be enlisted into the army and would be great ambassadors for their country was Alfred M. Green. Green spoke in Pennsylvania to address the need for African Americans to be apart of the ranks of the Union Army. Throughout his speech, Green demonstrates his use of rhetorical strategies in order to convey his message through patriotism, and inspiration for the men.

In the opening lines of Green’s speech, he starts by addressing duty and patriotism. Green attempts to sway African Americans into joining the Union Forces by referring to their past and convincing them that patriotism is kept in promoting a better outlet. The author goes over this idea in his speech by stating, “the love of country, of freedom, and of civil and religious toleration.” This quote connects with the overall message because it is showing that African Americans feel that they are proud to be in this country and that they should have the same opportunity to other people that want to be apart of the ranks. In addition, Green is trying his best to boost African American’s self-confidence to join the Union army. The quote represents parallelism in order to acknowledge his views on patriotism. He describes the line in multiple places in order to emphasize how important it is for African Americans to join the army. It is their passion and love for their country that will keep it in the right direction. The author did this on purpose to make his audience members realize how important it is for them to join and serve with passion that they already have. Moving on, Green shows off his elevated diction in order to deepen his assertion of African Americans patriotism. His use of diction occurs in this line which states, “My country, right or wrong, I love thee still.” From the quote, the author explains that whatever good or bad the country is, he or she is willing to serve their country with pride and dignity. The use of diction provides a strong statement in which it shows their patriotism and allowing them to join the ranks.

Towards the end of his speech, Green wraps his last idea around inspiration towards African Americans. In order to inspire he or she, one must appeal to their deep emotions and thoughts. Green conveys his message and reminds them their values by stating, “May give evidence to the world of the bravery and patriotism of a race in whose hearts burns the love of country, of freedom, and of civil and religious toleration.” The author applies pathos in this quote because he understands their feelings and the impact they would create when enlisted in the army. He creates emotion that stirs his audience members and shows that they are a valuable asset to the Union army. He inspires them to do great things for this country. In addition, the author brings up inspiration that one day there will be justice and honor. He states, “Let us endeavor to hope for the future and improve the present auspicious moment for creating anew our claims upon the justice and honor of the Republic.” Despite the fact that the African Americans were oppressed, fighting in the war will be the right direction to equality. The quote expresses imagery because he creates an image in the audience member’s mind that the situation was not in their favor. Ultimately, they wanted to receive the justice and honor to be apart of the army. The author had this inspiration for African Americans that someday slavery will be abolished.

Alfred Green, a man who sheds light on African Americans in the hopes of being in the ranks of the Union army. He creates this pathway of hope for them by expressing their patriotism and inspiration. Green’s goal was to end slavery and create a diverse group of people to serve for the Union army. He presents a wide range of ideas from African Americans loving their country to the idea of abolition. Throughout his speech, Green uses a variety of rhetorical devices to back up his claim that they should be admitted to the ranks and prepare for them to be enlisted. He stands for the people in which he believes is right. In the hopes of his speech, he wanted to grab his audience, African Americans, that they are valuable and are an integral part in being apart of the ranks.