Abstract

Widely recognized for its historical significance, the Montgomery bus boycott is understudied as a rhetorical phenomenon. This essay analyzes the protest's first oration, King's Holt Street Address, arguing that the text interacts with a rich discursive field, interprets that field to unify the black community and constrain its modes of protest, and anticipates a metaphysical foundation in King's philosophy of nonviolence. Although King's "interpretive persuasion" was instrumental in the boycott's success, it also effaced the protest's gender and class tensions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 299-326
Launched on MUSE
2005-11-07
Open Access
No
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