Utilizing a hopefully powerful tone, Alfred M. Green feeds his persuasive appeals and helps to effectively convince his fellow African Americans to attempt to join the war. He tells them to not focus on the past injustices, but to look towards an equal future, in which they too can be a contributing member of the nation’s military force.
Green’s use of diction creates an image of strong African Americans fighting alongside whites for a common purpose, furthering his appeals to both ethos and pathos. Green wants his “brethren” to “take up the sword” and embrace their “burning zeal” to fight for what is just. By discussing the passion and pertinacity of his race, he improves his appeal to the pathos of his listeners. Green acknowledges that “cavil[ing] over past grievances” will get them nowhere; they need to improve upon their ever growing “honor and glory” by continuing the “brave deeds of [their] fathers.”
Although he understands that his fellow blacks feel oppressed and have little desire to fight alongside the oppressors, his appeal to the deep-rooted ethos of his audience successfully convinces them to join the fight.
The author’s first-person discussion perfectly expresses his position through relatable “patriotism.” Green reminds his audience that their “very presence among the troops of the north would inspire [their] oppressed brethren of the South.” Green, skillfully appealing to ethos, arouses the deepest desires of the audience. The repetition of the word “our” lures in his audience, ensuring they know they will never be alone. He consistently brings up “the world of bravery” – a world that is “on the side of freedom, and universal political equality.” Through his first-person terminology, he brings in the audience to feel united and committed to the cause.
Alfred Green constructs a persuasive argument strengthened by his use of language and ethical appeals; he effectively lures in his audience and makes his dream of equality their own. The fact that he himself is an African American increases his credibility in regards to his audience, thus strengthening his argument.