Thesis Martin Luther King, Jr., through the use of eloquent writing and appeals to emotion, refutes several local religious leaders' criticisms of the his and the SCLC's outside involvement and nonviolent direct action taken to draw attention to and build support for the end of segregation, not only in Birmingham, but all of the United States. Main Points First King refutes idea that he is an outside agitator that doesn’t belong in Birmingham, as he and several members of his staff were invited to the city by a local affiliate organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He also asserts that his involvement there is valid, as “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” as communities are connected and affect each other indirectly. …show more content…
In the past the city had made many false promises and devastated countless aspirations. The direct action campaign is the only alternative when negotiations fail due to white leaders refusing them. Moreover, direct action creates chaos that forces them to negotiate. King next addresses the reason why he did not wait to see if the new administration within the city a chance to remedy the injustice was that Boutwell is still a segregationist, and “the ‘wait’ has almost always meant ‘never’”, so the black Americans cannot wait any longer. Then King refutes idea that he is supporting some laws but breaking other, he mentioned that there are two type of law: just law and unjust law. Just laws apply to everyone, but unjust laws do not apply to everyone. So segregation laws are unjust. He also use example to show that some law can be just on paper, but applied unjustly. Therefore, we must break unjust laws because that shows the highest respect for
Samford University professor Jonathan Bass has argued against the vitriolic responses to the eight Alabama clergymen. The essence of Bass’ argument is that while the white clergymen can easily be called close-minded hypocrites, further scrutiny reveals that their intentions were fairly aligned with that of Martin Luther King Jr.’s and that of the black community in Birmingham, Alabama. The eight clergymen elaborated in their public statement that, “When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets” (Eight Alabama Clergymen, par. 7). The misconception that Bass reveals is that the white clergymen were denouncing King’s demonstrations, when they were actually
The Letter from Birmingham jail was an important document that marked the black community, it was written by Martin Luther King Jr. During the spring of, 1963, Dr. King sent this letter in a response to the eight clergymen from Alabama. King in order to try to get his readers attention, he utilizes three types of persuasion that appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos. First off, he calls to his own reputation and knowledge. Second, he tries to encourage emotions or sympathy in his audience. Lastly, he appeals to logic, supported with proofs and quotes from important philosophers.
In the letter, “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr refutes Eight Clergymen from Alabama’s article which condemned the nonviolent protests led by “outsiders” against the racial injustice directed towards African American’s in Birmingham and all of America. King supports his argument by utilizing historical, religious, and statistical facts to build a common ground with the clergymen and to elucidate that nonviolent protests are the only way African Americans can protest inequality, as well as using anecdotes of personal experiences he and other African American’s had to face in order to elicit sympathy and regret. King’s purpose is to persuade the white clergymen that he isn’t breaking the law and that he isn’t an
In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. responds to the criticisms of other clergymen that his nonviolent campaign to end segregation in Birmingham, Alabama is “unwise and untimely” (1), as well as presenting his concerns of the white moderate and the limited power of the church. Although his fellow clergymen urge King to wait for the inevitable end of segregation, he refutes that “time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation” (21) showing that rather than wait for change, the civil rights campaign must take advantage of the time provided. With the mayoral elections in Birmingham occurring during the time of the planned action (8), the movements plans were further deterred causing their window of opportunity to shrink without them getting in the way of Birmingham’s political agenda. King goes on to invalidate the claims of the religious leaders by stating that “freedom is never voluntarily
In a world of disproportional acts and egalitarian love, a multitude of controversial occurrences appear within society each day. Pertaining to legislation, there are both just and unjust laws that individuals choose to either follow or disobey. In Martin Luther King Jr’s. , book, Why We Can’t Wait, the famous Christian African American civil rights activist dictates an argument referring to the defiance of an unjust law for improvement, despite how wretched the consequence may seem. In regards to expanding the authentic value of his piece, I am supporting him on account of ethical and liberal meanings.
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., stands up against the racial inequalities that plague not just the state of Alabama but the United States as a whole at the time. He claims the solution to racial inequality and the next step in furthing the civil rights movement is through nonviolent action. King’s passionate tone creates a sense of pride and confidence in his cause; as well as his use of ethos, logos, and pathos give the letter a sense of structure and unity. The purpose of Martin Luther King Jr. writing “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was to address the article published by eight local clergymen “A Call for Unity”.
Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” (par. 4). In the 1950s and 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. was a commendable leader in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. After being arrested in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, King wrote a response to the eight clergymen who questioned his ways. In his “Letter to Birmingham Jail,” King argues that there is injustice in Alabama and defends his protests for racial segregation. King does a successful job in his letter by demonstrating the logic of his position, employing emotional appeals, and establishing his credibility with personal facts.
Civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr, in his Letter from Birmingham City Jail, argues against criticism from eight Alabama clergymen, and addresses their concerns. He defends his position, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), against accusations of disturbing the peace in Birmingham, as well as explaining his values and opinions. Throughout the letter, King adopts a strong logical and credible tone, and reinforces his position through the use of strong emotional justifications, in order to appeal to the clergymen and defend his public image. Martin Luther King opens up his Letter from Birmingham City Jail by appealing to the clergymen's emotions, and assuring his peaceful response, which he describes in "patient and
In the book “Why We Can't Wait” by Martin Luther King, JR.. explains how the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights -A.C.H.R. was organized to end segregation in Birmingham. With the nonviolent protest of 1963 being led by Martin Luther King Jr., it would strike as a successful and revolutionary change in history. In “Why We Can't Wait”, it explains that Southern Christian Leadership Conference S.C.L.C. had a promise with the downtown white merchants to remove signs and allow blacks to eat at their counter tops. It didn't take long for the signs to go back up in front of the stores. The S.C.L.C. and A.C.H.R. had only been tricked to believe this would be a permanent change.
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. led a peaceful movement in Birmingham, Alabama. The purpose of the demonstration was to bring awareness and end to racial disparity in Birmingham. Later that night, King and his followers were detained by city authorities. While in custody, King wrote the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This letter voiced out his disappointment in the criticisms, and oppositions that the general public and clergy peers obtained.
Summary/Assessment: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which is an organization operating in every Southern state with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. He came to Birmingham, Alabama because injustice lies there and helped protest about it in a nonviolent demonstration against racial discrimination. The eight clergymen of the South did not approve of these demonstrations happening which caused Dr. King to be confined in Birmingham Jail cell, writing a letter to them men explaining on why he was in Birmingham and what his reasons were for these protests. He begins to talk about and explain the four basic steps that needed to be followed for any nonviolent campaign. He also gives the audience a better understanding by giving a visual glimpse of what the black community had to endure.
Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”: Just and Unjust Laws Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a letter to eight white clergymen while he’s sitting in a jail cell, the result of a protest in Birmingham, Alabama that King, a Georgian, traveled to attend. Due to the criticisms of the clergymen, he commences his letter by explaining why he needed to come to Birmingham. King states that he was there for a multitude of reasons, the first being that he had organizational ties to Birmingham, the second being that he was there because there was injustice in Birmingham. He states that as a citizen of America, injustice in Birmingham is not removed from justice anywhere else because everything is interrelated, and that injustice
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential leaders of his time and played a crucial role in the African-American Civil Rights movement. Luther was a charismatic leader who took a firm stand against the oppressive and racist regime of the United States (US), devoting much of his life towards uniting the segregated African-American community of the US. His efforts to consolidate and harmonise the US into one country for all is reflected in many of his writings and speeches spanning his career. As a leader of his people, King took the stand to take radical measures to overcome the false promises of the sovereign government that had been addressing the issues of racial segregation through unimplemented transparent laws that did nothing to change the grim realities of the society. Hence, King’s works always had the recurring theme of the unity and strength of combined willpower.
In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King, Jr. is responding to criticism of the peaceful protests and sit-in’s that were taking place in Birmingham, which led to his being arrested and the reason that he was in jail. He first responds to the accusation of being an “outsider” by setting the stage for his being in Birmingham due to being invited because of his ties to the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights organization and due to the fact that he is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Next, Martin Luther King expands on his moral beliefs that there is “injustice” in the way that Birmingham is “the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States”.
Civil rights leader and social activist Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a world renown correspondence, Letter From Birmingham Jail, in April of 1963, during a time when segregation was at it’s peak in the South. When King was making his mark in American history, the United States was experiencing great social unrest due to the injustice towards their colored citizens, which would lead to social rights rallies and unnecessary violence. In response to King’s peaceful protesting, the white community viewed “[his] nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist,” and subsequently imprisoned the pastor (para 27). King specifically wrote to the white clergymen who had earlier addressed a letter to him as to why he was apprehended, in which they argued that his actions were untimely and unconstitutional. In response, King emphasized that justice is never timely, and the refusal to acknowledge equal rights was inhumane and regressive.