and Frederick Douglass were two of the greatest abolitionists, writers, and statesmen to ever exist; devoting their life's work to tirelessly fight for the rights of African Americans. During the span of their lives, the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and speech "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" took America by storm and have left a tangible impact on American history. In these acclaimed works, Dr. King and Douglass both use appeals to sadness to elaborate on the vile treatment of African Americans, evidence-based arguments to expose the corruption in the American church and justice system, careful, calculated, and persuasive language to establish their credibility. It is clear that speeches, essays, works of art, and music produced during a civil rights movement is nothing short of powerful, provocative, and most of the time, painful; but they are absolutely
Martin Luther King preaches in his speech about the wronging ways they have been treated for so long and what he “dreams” will happen in the time to come. From his speech, he states, “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’” King is referring to the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” from the Constitution and Declaration of Independence about how they are not being treated as these two documents proclaim that every man should be. While Atticus states, “some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire."
Whereas in 1941, Roosevelt published a speech to Congress on the state of the union. These two remarkable pieces of writing share common themes of rights and Freedom such as injustice, tone, and allusion in America. To begin with, in both Letter from Birmingham and Four freedom dr. King and Roosevelt use similar tones. In Letter from Birmingham jail, Dr. King tone comes off as noble and slightly angry. In the text he says, "I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation.
The “I Have a Dream” speech is well known throughout history to be one of the most famous speeches to be on the subject of civil rights. Throughout the entirety of “I Have a Dream”, Dr. King uses pathos more than logos. “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.” (King, 263). The use of words like victim, horrors, heavy with the fatigue, are all there to make the
The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. is about the unfair, brutal, and racist treatment the black community has been receiving from white people. This letter was written when he was arrested after peacefully protesting about segregation and how the black people didn’t agree with the law. In the letter, Martin Luther King Jr.’s feelings are being expressed toward the unfair events and it is an example of a well-written argument. In the letter are three claims pointed from King, it states he has a valid reason for being in Birmingham, the black community has no alternative, but to demonstrate and the need for justice is urgent. Also, it discusses king’s intentions during the civil rights movements.
These topics stood out the most to me because Michelle Alexander proves how they relate to the Jim Crow Laws established during the Reconstruction Era. The two chapters that I read were titled “The Rebirth of Caste” (Chapter 1) and “The Lockdown” ( Chapter 2). These two chapters tackle the controversial topic of the new racism living today and also the war on drugs. Michelle Alexander understands that “this book is not for everyone” as it was stated in her preface, so she
History has only proven that the insufficiency of equality as individuals brings hostility between people. For example, the discrimination that people of color had suffered due to the rules and restrictions that were imposed to them. Even though, they were American born citizens, the government was not treating them as equal. Therefore, they started to fight for their rights; most of their manifests were non-violent but due to the discernment from the opposite side some of those protests ended up in riots. Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. even describes their frustrations on a letter that he wrote to his oppose white fellow.
Martin Luther King Jr., arguably the most well-known civil rights activist, is most credited to his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech, but he has also done some incredible influencing in a letter titled “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” King addressed this letter to his colleague clergymen, superficially explaining his previous actions, but inspiring and persuading his audience to join him on the path to racial equality in between the lines, specifically by unifying his audience to himself with parallelism of the Christian faith and using the either/or fallacy to his advantage. The most obvious technique King uses is unifying his audience and himself together by repeatedly alluding to their similar faith. King alludes to past saints and other
As stated in one of his speeches, “There comes a time when people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression,” revealing the evolving mindset of the black community that they have the right to equality. However, they faced difficulty in attaining this goal of equality due to retaliation and violence. This resistance to desegregation was instrumental in revealing racial tensions and the irrational ideology of white supremacists. After analyzing how the Montgomery bus boycott has had significant political and cultural effects on American history, it is safe to conclude that this event should be included within the new textbook. The political and cultural changes that arose from this event acted as a catalyst for the civil rights movement and resulted in national and international attention to the civil rights struggles going on in the United States during this
Martin Luther claims that segregation is a horrible thing for African Americans and how him fighting for equality is hard but can be done peacefully and legally. He gives many examples to these claims. Martin Luther starts off his letter by talking about all the criticism he receives as a civil rights activist. He says that his secretaries would have little time to focus on other things because of all the criticism letters he gets. Then he talks about some of the associations he is affiliated with and addresses the plans to peacefully protest segregation.
The appeal to ethos is strengthened when it’s partnered with personal experiences. For instance, Martin Luther King Jr. uses several instances of ethos throughout his letter from Birmingham Jail. He particularly references biblical figures and events, comparing them to similar actions that the civil rights movement took. “Civil disobedience… was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar”, Dr. King writes, “on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake” (King 179). Dr. King’s
Letter From Birmingham Jail: A Statement of Truth Racism in America was and still is an issue that is faced. Since the time of the Civil Rights movement America has improved but still has to do some work. The people who started the fight for racial equality were the brave ones who decided enough was enough. Colored people in America had been treated unfairly for much too long and were ready to fight for their rights and get rid of the social injustices they had to face. One of the biggest injustices towards blacks were the unjust segregation laws in the country.
Martin Luther King Junior was the leader of several peaceful protests against the segregation of African American people in the American South. In his Letter form a Birmingham Jail, King responds to the eight clergymen who published an open letter in the local newspaper entitled A call to Unity that ultimately criticized King’s antics directly. King’s powerful yet eloquent use of different literary techniques, especially Aristotle’s persuasive appeals of ethos, pathos and logos, clearly delivers a potent message to his audience. The persuasive appeal logos, according to Aristotle, appeals to a reader’s sense of reason. Birmingham is described by King as “the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States” where “Negroes have experienced
In, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King Jr. justifies why he and the SCLC came to Birmingham which was to protect and fight for everyone’s rights. King concludes that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (King, 2). He feels a connection to and a responsibility for everyone who has to face “injustice” since, this in reality is segregation and racism. Furthermore, he justifies that breaking laws, if they are unjust, embraces extremism. Overall, King had to take action since it is clear that nonviolent protest was ineffective so there was, unfortunately, no other manner to fight for their rights to these injustices, such as, police brutality, segregation, and Jim Crow laws.
Dr. King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” goes in to detail about the injustice that existed on the streets of America in the 1960s, and it can still be used now to discuss the injustice on the streets today. King discusses how unjust laws were made to broken (such as with Hitler and the Jewish population and the Hungarian Freedom Fighters), and that no progress would ever be made if actions weren’t taken immediately. Today, issues with police brutality and racism against immigrants (“They are taking our jobs!” is a line often used by the white population of America when talking about jobs they would never consider applying for anyway) is at an all-time high, and Dr. King’s letter can be applied to the current situation: action must be taken immediately. Americans today are split between sides – one side favors movements such as Black Lives Matter, while the other often makes comments