A Rhetorical Analysis Of Benjamin Banneker's Letter

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Slavery has been in existence since the creation of the United States of America. In fact, the controversial issue created a conflict beginning at the Constitutional Convention that carried on through Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and the addition of the 14th Amendment. Benjamin Banneker, a former slave, took the side of anti-slavery throughout his letter, utilizing a historical allusion along with anaphora to facilitate his audience’s understanding of Banneker’s point of view. Banneker capitalizes on his audience’s vulnerability through the use of a historical allusion. The audience of the letter is Thomas Jefferson, one of the creators of the Declaration of Independence, so Banneker refers to a quote in the document saying “that all men are created equal” having “unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Banneker). When this document was …show more content…
He delineated the words meaning to be that all humans, regardless of race or gender, maintain the same basic freedoms in life. By harbingering Jefferson’s own words under a new light, Banneker is extorting thought in Jefferson. Banneker is bringing to attention the hypocrisy in Jefferson’s beliefs and actions because he is stating that all humans deserve equality and happiness, but Jefferson continues to support slavery, which constricts African American’s freedom