Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Communication & Journalism

First Advisor

Dr. Travis Cram


In order to provide insight into the effectiveness of messages about racial equality for black Americans, this project utilized Critical Race Theory (CRT) to assess and juxtapose two Malcolm X speeches with rhetoric from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, through neo-Aristotelian Criticism. The messages from Malcolm X’s two speeches and the rhetoric from the BLM movement were extrapolated and defined through Critical Race Theory. Themes of globalization, Black Nationalism, epistemology, white-centricity, black-affirmation, self-identification, imagery, and media bias have been touched on and explored. The speeches, the rhetoric and all of their elements were placed in their historical contexts. In accordance with neo-Aristotelian Criticism, the messages of the Malcolm X speeches and the BLM rhetoric were evaluated using the five canons of rhetoric. Finally, the messages of the speeches and the rhetoric were analyzed for effectiveness given their historical context and their use of the five canons of rhetoric.