Persuasion is the influence of beliefs, attitudes, actions, intentions and other such things; it is a process aimed at a person’s or group’s attitude or behavior towards some event, idea, object, or person. Albert Green cleverly uses connection and inspiration to persuade his fellow African Americans to join the ranks of the military. He connects with them by not only using unifying diction but also by appealing to their emotions, namely by speaking of their common historical plights, their “sires” or fathers.
Green, instead of separating himself as the speaker, from his audience, and singling out the individuals making up the audience, in attempt and hope of persuading each and every one of them separately through the appeal of logic, as done commonly in the execution of persuasive speeches, uses unifying diction to connect with his fellow African Americans. He does so by using such phrasing as “we” instead of “you” or “I” and “ours” instead of “yours. ” This simple change in word choice makes his tone sound sincere and genuine.
Through the use of the word “brethren,” Green is able to makes religious connection. “Brethren” is the formal word used for brother in many religious scriptures predating the 12th century. Green hopes to connect with them at an emotional as well as spiritual level through use of commonly labeled as religious diction that is familiar to the African American people of this time, of whom a majority are highly religious Christians. He also connects with his audience through references to their common history, concerning their “sires” or fathers, dating back to the times of Washington and the Revolutionary War.
He brings to light the failures “to bring them into recognition as citizens” and abuse caused by the fugitive-slave laws, Dred Scott decisions, indictments for treason…” Green does not hide these acts of humiliation, injustice and abuse; he claims that it is their “duty … is not to cavil over past grievances. ” He tells his fellow “brethren” that they should not keep grudges over the past for it has already happened and cannot be altered.