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Analyzing Body Language

Analyzing Body Language

Leaders wield as much power as social movements. Leaders in charge of these movements, such as Black Lives Matter, are entrusted with the responsibility of demonstrating the direction and activities that they take. The history of social movements has shown their dynamism (Levy, 2019). Furthermore, moral pretensions motivate members of such associations. For these movements to be considered effective, there occurs a need to build their social capital and the level to which they engage the people. In this discussion, we will take a look at Martin Luther King Jr. and Alicia Garza, both involved in civil rights movements as leaders. We will also take a closer look at what they did in their speeches to make them effective. In this analysis, we will feature the body language during their speeches, the locations chosen for their speeches and the interaction with the audience.

Summary of Speeches

The injustices and treachery aimed at black people were the central ideas behind the speeches by these two civil rights movement leaders. Martin Luther King made a speech in front of a crowd of around 200,000 people in which he campaigned for social, economic, and political justice and equality in American society. During his speech, Dr. King implored Black people to be a part of the fight to champion their rights. The Dream that Martin Luther had was that both the white and black people in the United States lived together in peace and harmony as brothers and sisters (Schmidt, 2020). Alicia Garza emphasized police violence in her lectures before criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement’s abuse of power (Levy, 2019). It highlights the differences between today’s generation and the reforms that the movement aspires to bring about.

Both speeches focused on the social injustices that African Americans face and urged quick action. The two leaders were passionate in their speeches. Ten minutes after his speech, King’s voice got louder. You can tell he’s ecstatic. Indeed, he is alleged to have deviated from the script and begun speaking from his heart. He was honest and shared his experiences. He became more animated and moved when he talked about his hopes for America (Nasir, 2021). He stepped on tiptoe many times to show his passion for the course. During his speech, his charm was praised for capturing the crowd’s attention. He inspires their enthusiasm and loyalty, especially when he implores them to keep the peace and abstain from using violence (Nasir, 2021). Finally, his authority may be seen in his stance and speech. Even though the platform concealed his lower body, he cast a look down to the ground. As he stood tall, his chin was lifted, and his chest was extended. In his posture and the way he looked at the audience, he exuded confidence and strength.

As previously indicated, Garza was passionate about the themes she covered in her speech. She was hurt by the unjustifiable killings of African Americans by police. Above all, she is passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement’s accomplishments so far (Schmidt, 2020). Her expression lit up as she described how the movement’s efforts culminated in police officers being held accountable for conduct that resulted in the deaths of unarmed African Americans. Unfortunately, there is a misperception regarding black women who speak up. A subpopulation of African-American women is known as angry black women (Nasir, 2021). As a consequence, African-American women in positions of leadership or influence chose moderation over strength, causing their message to shift. Garza’s statements may lack authority.

Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. This location had a significant impact on the march and course of the civil rights movement (Nasir, 2021). The monument commemorates Abraham Lincoln’s belief in the dignity and liberty of all individuals. Consequently, it created an excellent environment for African Americans to establish their dignity and independence. On the other hand, Alicia Garcia delivered a speech at the Rad Talk festival (Levy, 2019). The environment is excellent in today’s society, where social media is used for the bulk of communication. Garza’s overall emphasis is on both the young and the older generations; therefore, this comes in handy.

I think the audience could relate to both Dr. King and Alicia Garza’s opinions on numerous levels. On the one hand, Garza investigates the consequences of slavery, such as the high engagement of African-American women in the domestic labour market, poor earnings for African-American workers in comparison to white employees, and police brutality (Schmidt, 2020). These were some of the challenges faced by African Americans in the 1960s, and some of them may be seen in Dr. King’s speech as recorded. Both speeches have a mixture of whites and blacks. Everything is tied to the objective of creating a fair society that respects the dignity and rights of both black and white people.


The leader of a social movement is essential to the movement’s direction. They prescribe activities, encourage resource mobilization, coordinate actions such as protests, and designate major political regions for petitions, among other things. Because of their power, character, charm, and dedication to their profession, they have an influence on others who follow them. Dr. King, Garza, and others fought for African-American rights in different ages and generations.


Levy, P. B. (2019). The Civil Rights Movement: A Reference Guide. ABC-CLIO.

Nasir, K. H. M. (2021). A Critical Content Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr. Speeches (I Have  a Dream) as a Model (Doctoral dissertation, Sudan University of Science and Technology).

Schmidt, C. W. (2020). Civil Rights in America. Cambridge University Press.


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Analyzing Body Language


Required Resources

Read/review the following resources for this activity:

· Textbook: Chapters 7, 8

· Lesson 3

· APA style manual

· Citation and Writing Assistance: Writing Papers At CU

· Library Overview

· How to Search for Articles – the Everything Tab


Social Movements are only as important as the person leading them. The person(s) leading a social movement must have charisma and be able to captivate an audience. Political scientists and historians are taught to analyze body language, especially during debates and speeches.

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For this assignment, you will watch Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech and a speech by Alicia Garza of the Black Lives Matter movement and answer the questions listed below. Pay special attention to the following aspects of the two speeches.

· Importance of body language while delivering the speech.

· Gestures, cadence, and delivery style.

Answer the following:

1. Provide a summary of the two speeches.

2. Compare Dr. King’s leadership, charisma, power and passion to capture his audience to Alicia Garza’s speech. What are the similarities, if any? What are the differences, if any?

3. How does the location of the speeches support their messaging? Dr. King’s speech was held in a church and at the Lincoln Memorial, whereas today, we have social networking and more avenues to relay messages. Does messaging make a difference?

4. Describe how the audience in Dr. King’s speeches relates to Alicia Garza’s audience. Do you see a similarity or differences in the speeches and in the audience?


· Length: 2-3 pages of substantive content

· 12 pt font

· Parenthetical in-text citations included and formatted in APA style

· References page (a minimum of 2 outside scholarly sources plus the textbook and/or the weekly lesson for each course outcome) .

· Title and introduction pages are present.

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