Communication Studies 151 Questions

THIS IS NOW READY FOR YOU TO TAKE.

Linked here is the speech you will watch: Robert F. Kennedy speaking on the night Martin Luther King washttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb5x9TsBegE 

The short speech you will view was delivered on the evening of April 4th, 1968, by Robert F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy was a United States senator and former U.S. Attorney General in the administration of his late brother, John Kennedy, the U.S. president assassinated in Dallas in 1963. RFK’s speech on the night of Dr. King’s death is considered one of the best speeches of its kind ever in American life.

Your task is to compose a short essay that answers a series of questions (listed below). DO NOT simply list a numbered question followed by some short answer. AGAIN, DO NOT DO THATYou need to construct an essay built around my questions.

You may view the speech as many times as you like, and even reference it as you answer the following questions. You may also reference the transcript I have included in a separate Moodle post right below this. Please submit your work as a Word document you upload when you are done. Be sure to save your Word document to your computer in the event that any technical problems arise.

Also, do not attempt to upload your work at the very last moment this is open. Be prepared well before the submission deadline. I will not accept any of this late for any reason.

Questions that reference “our book” are directed at our class textbook, Invitation to Public Speaking by Cindy L. Griffin. Cite this when you need to (and you will need to) and include it in a “Reference” page.

FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT YOU DO NOT NEED TO INCLUDE ANY CITATION FOR THE SPEECH BEYOND AN INITIAL INTRODUCTION AND APPROPRIATE REFERENCE TO KENNEDY, such as, “In this passage, Kennedy speaks of…” etc.

Your questions:

A) In announcing to his audience the assassination earlier that day of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sen. Kennedy had some ethical issues to consider. Please refer to pages 3 and 4 of our book, and chapter 1 more broadly, and any notes or class Power Points, to answer the following:

Question A1: In what way do you see and hear Sen. Kennedy acting ethically as a public speaker? In other words, how was his speech the kind of public dialogue our book defines as an “ethical and civil exchange of ideas and opinions among communities about topics that affect the public?”

Question A2: Among the members of the audience assembled to hear Sen. Kennedy speak were whites and blacks. In a sense, the “community” of his audience was also two communities. How does Sen. Kennedy address the concerns and feelings of blacks during his speech? How was he, as an ethical speaker, audience centered? He does something very specific to connect with the black members of his audience grieving the death of Dr. King. What is it?

Question A3: Sen. Kennedy’s speech was praised and cited as the reason there was no rioting in Indianapolis that evening. How might a less ethical speaker have spoken in a way that incited violence or even hate?

B) In chapter 3 of our book, Griffin discusses the general and specific purposes to public speeches, and also talks about thesis statements. Consider this information as you answer the following questions:

Question B1) Listen to Robert Kennedy’s speech and discuss what you think was his general purpose, specific purpose and (though he never says it in so many words) his thesis.

C) Sen. Kennedy was a prominent son from a prominent white family endowed with wealth and privilege and power. It has too often been the case that others with this identity (rich, powerful and white) as their master statuses (defined in chapter 4) have been and are ethnocentric in their standpoints. Yet Kennedy’s family also knew of prejudice because they came from Irish immigrants to America (not welcomed here at first) and were Catholic, which was a MAJOR point of debate during his brother’s (successful) run for the White House in 1960. Consider all this as you answer the following:

Question C1) What evidence do you have from this speech about Robert Kennedy’s standpoint? How would you describe his standpoint? Is it ethnocentric? Explain.

D) Chapter 8 offers ideas for using quotations and even poetry in introductions and conclusions. Answer:

Question D1) When/where did Robert Kennedy use poetry and/or quotations in his speech? Were these part of his introduction or his conclusion?

Question D2) In your opinion, and based on what we’ve thus far read and discussed, how effective were these poems/quotations?

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