Martin Luther King wrote his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," in response to a public statement of concern and caution issued by eight religious leaders of the South. The statement "A Call For Unity", implored Dr. King and his "outsiders" to obey the law and wait for integration to naturally come out of the courts. King responded with his Letter from Birmingham Jail, voicing his disappointment in the white clergy, who should be "among our strongest allies". This was the persuasive power of King’s writing, an epitome of the art of rhetoric. His letter used the three rhetorical appeals ethos, pathos, and logos, while also utilizing the literary device of kairos in an attempt to explain his actions and change the opinions of his audience.
In the Spring of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stated in a speech that Birmingham was among one of the most segregated cities in the world. King believed that if he could just go to Birmingham, and protest non-violently, that he could make a difference. On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. was imprisoned, in Birmingham, for protesting the civil rights of Black Americans. While in jail, he began writing a letter addressing the clergymen. His main audience in writing this letter was to the eight clergymen who criticized his actions and also the majority of the population as well.
still prevailed and that blacks were still excluded from everything and had many disadvantages by not being white. On April 12th, Martin Luther King got arrested because of his “confrontations” and from there, he wrote the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail”(also known as “The Negro is Your Brother”. This letter was directed to a white group of clerics that mocked his strategies of not being violent when fighting for equality. The letter makes it clear that it is critical for people to actually take a stand, instead of standing in a court contrary to what the clergymen believe. And with people mentioning him to as an “outsider”, he responded.
King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. With a tone remains polite, respectful, even almost apologetic, and friendly, this letter was written in response to a claim made by eight white clergymen criticizing the actions and ideas of Dr. King and his group as unwise and wrong. According to S. Jonathan Bass argued, “the letter served as a tangible, reproducible account of the long road to freedom in a movement that was largely centered around actions and spoken words” (Bass). Beginning the letter with a greeting sentence “My dear fellow clergymen”, Dr. King explains the reasons his presence as well as his uses of nonviolence and direct action in Birmingham. When King says: “I am here because I was invited here.
While in solitary confinement for nearly 8 days, reverend and social justice activist, Martin Luther King Jr., wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to the criticism he received for his non-violent protests. Several clergy who negatively critiqued King’s approach of seeking justice, wrote A Call for Unity, arguing that his protests were senseless and improper. Within the article, the clergymen provide nine different critiques that asserted how King’s protest are invalid, uneffective, and simply unintelligent in the fight for obtaining justice and equity for individuals of color. His letter has become one of the most profound pieces of literature of the 20th century, as King uses vivid examples and eloquent rhetorical devices to counter all nine arguments. The criticism made by the these eight clergyman epitomize the idea of whiteness and white privilege.
In 1963, while Martin Luther King was in Birmingham Jail, King delivered a powerful letter to his Clergymen in order to take time and respond to the criticism he had received over his work in Birmingham. The Letter from Birmingham Jail addresses many problems, including the slow action occuring to stop racial discrimination. In order to do this, Martin Luther King uses several techniques in paragraph thirteen and fourteen of his letter such as repetition, personification, as well as allusion, to support his claim that racial unity has taken too long. To emphasize the passing of time and the need to take action now, King uses repetition and allusions in paragraph thirteen to assist his claims. King starts strongly with the bold statement “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”, which in this case, the oppressors refer to the whites, and the oppressed are the negroes.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong leader in the Civil Rights movement, the son and grandson of a minister, and one heck of a letter writer. As he sits in a cell of Birmingham Jail in 1963, he responds to criticism from eight white clergymen. Though this letter was intended for the judgemental and condescending men of high faith, his response touched the hearts and minds of the entire U.S. population, then, and for years to come. In his tear-jerking, mind-opening letter, King manages to completely discredit every claim made by the clergymen while keeping a polite and formal tone. Metaphors, allusions, and rhetorical questions are used in the most skillful way to support his argument and ultimately convince his audience of the credibility behind his emotional, yet factual, claims.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, uses the lense of social power in order to get his thoughts across. Social power is the degree of influence that an individual or organization has among their peers and within their society as a whole. This idea is illustrated throughout his letter to show the significance of the disabilities and unfair treatment the black community has faced for the entirety of their existence. African americans have never been able to gain the respect from others they deserve due to the idea that other races have more power on them simply due to the color of their skin. Martin Luther King is able to express these ideas by referencing multiple examples as to how social power has negatively affected their societal presence for many years.
Equal rights protester Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “now is the time to make real the promise of democracy, and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.” In 1963, King was arrested for protesting in Birmingham and was put in jail. During that period, he had a lot of spare time and wrote a long and powerful letter full of stylistic elements to church leaders in Birmingham who had criticized him for leading a protest. They made public statements opposing King and his methods for achieving change, but King believed that they misjudged his cause and ways of doing. Martin Luther King, Jr. uses many stylistic elements including convincing examples and keen figurative language to influence his reader to agree with his point in "Letter from Birmingham Jail."
Ty’ Keylah White Ms. Edwina Mosby English Composition I October 31, 2017 Rhetorical Analysis: Letter from Birmingham Jail Summary/Assessment: In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is responding to a few white religious leaders who stated that his nonviolent reveal against segregation was “unwise and untimely” (1). Dr. King had to be really upset at the clergymen because he rarely acknowledges criticism of his work. He states that since they brought up “outsiders coming in”, meaning that they went to the city of Birmingham to start a conflict. He argues his equality to be there like anyone else speaking on the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia but run through every Southern state. Dr. King says “anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered outsiders” (4).