A Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In the year 1963 of August, Martin Luther King wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as a response of a letter published in a local newspaper. This letter, written by the Clergymen of Birmingham at this time, caught his attention while he was confined in jail for parading without a permit. This time allowed him to respond passionately to the injustice in Birmingham. King’s letter addresses specific points presented in the Clergymen’s, and his direct approach separates King’s strong points through his powerful writing. King is able to defend these differing views and actions through rhetorical devices such as ethos, logos, and pathos. In the introduction of his letter, King builds up his credibility to start off his solid defense. He introduces himself as “President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five…show more content…
Martin Luther King uses pathos in order to bring emotional appeals from his audience. In paragraph 11, King explains why it is difficult for African- Americans to “wait” for segregation to come to an end. In this section, he does quite a good job making the reader feel sympathetic towards the struggle of the black community. The main point of this section of the letter, was to force the clergymen see things from a black perspective. The clergymen wanted the African-American to continue to wait for their chance at freedom. The clergymen believed if they waited, the courts would then consider making a change in Birmingham. However, King claims they can no longer “wait.” He states, “We have waited 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights.”(Letter from Birmingham Jail). This quote shows how African-Americans were never truly free because they were never granted the same rights as
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