In the letter “Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. writes to the Clergyman to express his idea on the racial discrimination and injustice going on in Birmingham Alabama. Martin Luther King Jr. writes his letter while being held in Birmingham Jail after being arrested for participating, in a non-violent anti segregation march. During this time violence against African Americans was so bad in Birmingham it needed to be addressed and taken care of. Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical strategies in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in order to convince the religious leaders of Birmingham that they could wait no longer for justice and that the only course was direct action. The religious leaders of Birmingham wrote a letter, “A Call for Unity”, were they expressed a concern about how racial discrimination should be handled by the courts and how it is not King’s Place, for he is an outsider, to interfere with the injustice in the City of Birmingham.
To Fight or Not to Fight, That is the Question “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” it is the anthem of all African Americans yearning for the same rights as white citizens. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist wrote those powerful words as he sat he jail, imprisoned for participating in a nonviolent demonstration against segregation. There were numerous people fighting for equality however, they had differing ideas on how to best approach the problem. King, asserted his belief of peacefully protesting. Being a minister, he did not condone violence and felt the African American dream of equality was achievable through nonviolent efforts.
His uses of the persuasive language of logos helps to explain that African Americans have waited too long to receive the freedom they very well deserved. This evokes sympathy in the clergymen and makes them realize a change must occur. On the contrary, King utilizes emotional appeal to explain to the church officials that the way African Americans were treated does not deserve praise: “I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen…if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing out grace together, I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department” (para. 44). King implements the use of emotional appeal to convince his readers of clergymen that the Birmingham police force does not treat African Americans who were peacefully protesting as they
1963 could be considered the peak of the civil rights movement- with protests in Birmingham, the March on Washington, and the surfacing of Martin Luther King Jr.'s ground-breaking pieces "I Have A Dream" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail," the demand for civil rights had become a genuine American crisis. Dr. King wrote "Letter from Birmingham Jail" while he was in custody with the intention to share with fellow Americans his grievances and explain the absolute necessity for protests in Birmingham. Almost a century prior, in 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered his biting and passionate speech "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" on behalf of all the enslaved. Somewhat similar to Dr. King's letter, Douglass shares his own grievances regarding
Many people believe in the word “Activism,” but they have never truly experienced what it means to be an “Activist”. During the Spring of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. was embroiled in the civil rights struggle when he penned his now famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. To completely understand Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, you have to understand why it was written. It was, while King was in jail for 11 days in Birmingham, Alabama during the civil rights struggles of 1963, written in response to a local newspaper article written by 8 local white clergymen. In that article they questioned why he was there (he was loosely referred to as an outsider) and the timing of the peaceful protests.
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King responds to the clergymen’s critics of his actions by justifying why action is needed. King describes the long-awaited freedom and equality the black community has been waiting for. He discusses about time being neutral, and how it can be used constructively or destructively. King explains that action needs to be taken, and used constructively in order for things to change. Just like King, Terry Tempest Williams, in her own ways uses time constructively to take action for her family and the rest of the victims of the atomic bomb testings.
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
Martin Luther King Jr. used various types of techniques to persuade the clergyman and the other critics, but the method that I believe that was the most effective convincing the audience was pathos. King persuade the audience by using logic or reasoning. In the “Letter of Birmingham Jail” it states “So I along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.” (paragraph 2). As you see it impacted various people because king wanted to make sure that the audience knew he had a right to be there, but not only him but his fellow members that form his staff. King was judged for his color and believing that all men should have been created equal no matter any situation.
Letter from Birmingham Jail – Analysis Questions 1.) Audience: The audience the clergymen were trying to reach was Martin Luther King Junior; they were trying to explain why they feel like the segregation movements are, as the letter describes it, a bother to the people of Alabama. The Clergyman’s letter was discussing the people who feel as though they are having to “deal with racial problems in Alabama.” Martin Luther King Junior’s speech was trying to explain to the clergymen why black people feel the need to cause a movement, and why he feels the need to lead such a big event, like ending racism. MLK’s speech was discussing the people who feel as though they are being segregated against, and people who are participating in the movement
In the piece “Letter from Birmingham,” Martin Luther King Jr. is writing a personal response to eight clergymen who were questioning the movement taking in place in Birmingham and how it was being handled. The clergymen believed it should have been handled in the courts and King simply disagrees. King generally would not respond to people writing him, but with him being in jail and the questions being pondered by many, he felt it was needed to write them back about the injustice being done. King described and illustrated the struggles as a black man and a black woman during this significant time period and also wrote of his leadership roles during the civil rights movement. King’s intent was to elucidate why this so called “violent demonstration” was taking place in Birmingham.
He strategically used biblical and historical references to expose the reality that segregation, injustice, and racism still strongly existed in Birmingham. Though it was an open letter to all Americans, his intended audience was the eight white clergymen. He presented them with concise reasoning for why they too should take action, or face the dilemma of being immorally incorrect in their beliefs. King pointed out how they were uneducated in the civil rights issues which put them at risk for losing their credibility as ministers. At the same time King appealed to his broader audience of fellow black Americans to continue to stand together in unity because
Atlanta, Georgia 1929, a Baptist priest was born a son who would grow up to be a fighter of extraordinary proportions. This son grew up into a man-Martin Luther King Jr. and this man became the face of African American civil rights during the 60’s. April 16, 1963 he wrote a powerful letter in response to white clergyman who stated that racial injustices should not be fought in the streets, but rather in the courts. A Letter From Birmingham Jail is a piece that defined a trying time in American history and continues to be relevant today. King discusses non-violent resistance and the deplorable state the church was in.
As Grace Communion International put it “African-American churches took up what has been their historical mission to care for the spiritual and physical needs of black people, since they were neglected and discriminated against by white society” (Kroll). While all this was happening, the women of the Black Church decided to help out in as many ways as possible. They organized social services, missionary societies, temperance associations and reading groups. Not only that they fought for social reform of all kinds like the end of racism and women 's suffrage (Mellowes). The church movement was gaining momentum in the fight for equality but it will all come to a head during the Civil
Martin Luther King letter from Birmingham’s jail, it is an emotive letter written from his 8 days solitary confinement in Birmingham city. In this letter Martin Luther king intends to respond to his critics by letting them know about the motives of his nonviolent actions. As an activist of African American of the civil rights movement, Luther king replies to his clergyman peers with reasons why the way to conquer real freedom for color people is through legal reforms rather than violent actions. One of the main arguments of his letter, it is his non-conformity with white people decision to not follow the enacted law of 1954, in which Negros were given equalitarian treatment as white people did. Martin Luther king uses his most eloquent words
Obviously, his speeches and letters were extremely important, but his vision for equality would not have been as effective if delivering speeches was all he did. He needed to be the one leading the Selma march, and the one peacefully protesting with everyone else. This is exactly what he did, and one day he found himself in a Birmingham Jail as a result of a nonviolent demonstration. He wrote a letter responding to a public statement of concerns and cautions issued by white religious leaders. In it, he talks about how inequality has reached the point where they cannot say anything else to gain freedom, and that they need to take action.