Quality of the Speech Historical Rhetorical Research

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Voices of Democracy 1 (2006): 1‐14 Bizzell 1 RABBI ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL, “RELIGION AND RACE” (14 JANUARY 1963) Patricia Bizzell College of the Holy Cross Abstract: Like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel led many Jews, both clerical and lay, into action against racism, reaching beyond denominational and racial boundaries to lead for social justice. By invoking biblical texts and thematic concerns in common with African American rhetoric, he hoped to strengthen solidarity between Jewish Americans and African Americans, and to inspire Black Christians who had been reluctant to endorse the activism of leaders like King. Key Words: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Civil Rights Movement, Racism, Religion, Judaism In her great anti‐slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe tells us about a Christian minister who supports slavery. The evil slave‐holder Marie St. Clare praises “Dr. G‐‐‐‐ ‐‐‐’s” sermon to her cynical, guilt‐ridden husband: The text was, ‘He hath made everything beautiful in its season;’ and he showed how all the orders and distinctions in society came from God; and that it was so appropriate, you know, and beautiful, that some should be high and some low, and that some were born to rule and some to serve, and all that, you know

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