Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom

Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom

The Exodus Narrative in America's Struggle for Civil Rights

Studies in Rhetoric & Religion

by Gary S. Selby

Imprint: Baylor University Press

225 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781602580169
  • Published: June 2008



In this beautifully written book, Gary Selby shows how Martin Luther King, Jr. used the biblical story of Exodus to motivate African Americans in their struggle for freedom from racial oppression. Through an examination of King's major speeches, Selby illuminates the ways in which King drew from the Exodus narrative to offer his listeners a structure that explained their present circumstances, urged united action, and provided the conviction that they would succeed. Selby explains how King constructed a symbolic framework for interpreting the setbacks of the Civil Rights movement, even as he challenged them to remain faithful to the cause.