Inventing authority: Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the orchestration of rhetorical traditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

On November 13, 1993, President Clinton addressedfive thousand African American ministers at the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ’s last speech in Memphis, Tennessee and, to open a dialogue on race relations, spoke in King’s voice. This essay develops a critical orientation revolving around the concepts of tradition, invention, and authority as a means ofexploring Clinton’s remarkable performance. The President invented the authority to address race by interanimating the black church and liberal traditions in American politics. Critique of Clinton’s address suggests that rhetorical traditions can play an important role in contemporary criticism by situating a specific text within the rhetorical traditions constituting the American public sphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-89
Number of pages19
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Volume83
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Religious buildings
Patents and inventions
president
invention
minister
criticism
church
dialogue
politics
Martin Luther King
Authority
Orchestration
Bill Clinton
Rhetorical Tradition
performance
African Americans
Public Sphere
American Politics
Invention of Tradition
Race Relations

Keywords

  • Authority
  • Bill clinton
  • Community
  • Martin luther king Jr
  • Rhetorical tradition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education

Cite this

Inventing authority : Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the orchestration of rhetorical traditions. / Murphy, John M.

In: Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 83, No. 1, 01.01.1997, p. 71-89.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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