Dr. Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail

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On April 12, 1963, eight clergymen wrote an open letter, “A Call for Unity”. In this published letter, the clergymen expressed their strong disapproval of the civil rights demonstrations taking place in Birmingham, Alabama. That same day, civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for protesting without a permit. In his short eleven-day jail sentence, Dr. King directly responded to the clergymen with a letter of his own. In his letter, Dr. King informed his readers about the protests in Birmingham. He explained why the protesters were civilly infringing racist laws and city ordinances; why the protesters had truth and justice; and how he was thwarted with the clergyman and white moderates in the South who said they supported his cause. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Dr. King incorporates biblical and historical allusions to give him credibility with his target audience, the clergymen. Additionally, Dr. King subtly asks rhetorical questions and makes logical conclusions to force his audience to consider his strategy of nonviolent resistance to cease racism and oppression. Throughout his piece, Dr. King uses many strong connections to biblical theologians and philosophers that strengthen his appeal and credibility. These biblical theologians and philosophers include St. Augustine, a convert and a father to Christianity. St. Augustine adhered to the concept of Trinity later in his life and in his teachings. The concept of Trinity is based on the idea of
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