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.
In this letter, he explained the reasons of their action, he also responded back all the criticism that he received. He was taken as extremist for fighting for his rights and the rights of his people
Civil Disobedience Compare and Contrast Henry Thoreau and Martin Luther King both wrote persuasive discussions that oppose many ideals and make a justification of their cause, being both central to their argument. While the similarity is obvious, the two essays, Civil Disobedience by Thoreau and Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. do have some similarities. King tries persuading white, southern clergymen that segregation is an evil, unfair law that ought to defeat by use of agitation of direct protesting. Thoreau, on the other hand, writes to a broader, non-addressed audience, and focuses more on the state itself. He further accepts it at its current state, in regard to the battle with Mexico and the institution of slavery.
He does this through the use of symbolism in “The Minister’s Black Veil.” The story is centered on the teachings of a local minister named Hooper in a small puritan town. This reverend was known for having a good reputation. He was even viewed to be self-discipline; a trait admired by his congregation.
Besides King using pathos, he also makes use of strong ethical appeals with true hard facts. Dr. King’s many sources adds strength to his argument, and presents it masterfully. To clarify his sources, he refers to the need for action throughout history with educational examples such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Paul Tillich, Hitler, and Martin Buber. These examples are advance and ancient, which shows that King did his homework. The Alabama clergymen considered King as an outsider, but with his ethical appeals he presents himself as an insider.
In paragraphs 33 to 44 of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to “A Call for Unity,” a declaration by eight clergymen, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963), he expresses that despite his love for the church, he is disappointed with its lack of action regarding the Civil Rights Movement. Through powerful, emotionally-loaded diction, syntax, and figurative language, King adopts a disheartened tone later shifts into a determined tone in order to express and reflect on his disappointment with the church’s inaction and his goals for the future. King begins this section by bluntly stating that he is “greatly disappointed” (33) with the church, though he “will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen” (33). By appealing to ethos and informing the audience of his history with the church, he indicates that he is not criticizing the church for his own sake, but for the good of the church.
King immediately establishes psychological reciprocity thru the use of ethos by stating he is a clergyman also. He addresses them as his “My Dear Fellow Clergymen” (King, p.1). He also states early in the letter that appeals to the clergyman’s feelings using
He ended up creating a very persuasive letter, one that effectively uses ethos in establishing his character, logos in providing reason and logic, and pathos in reaching human emotions. To use the appeal of ethos, a writer is responsible for establishing common ground with their readers. One way a writer can establish common ground with their readers is to prove their credibility by naming their credentials. This will help a writer be seen as an authority figure because it tells their readers they have experience in the subject.
In black theology the goal is to discern what God is up to and how God is working on behalf of the downtrodden and fighting for them against their oppressors. This line of thinking led Cone to make the bold claim, which must have been quite shocking and offensive, especially to white Christians in the late 60s and early 70s, that “any message that is not related to the liberation of the poor in the society is not Christ 's message,” which for him meant that “Christian theology must become Black Theology” that has as its primary consideration the needs of the oppressed and marginalized in society
Martin Luther king’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, is a response to fellow clergymen who advocated for King to be more patient and not to violate the law, as well as criticizing his approach for civil rights (MLK letter). Additionally King see justice as: “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. ”(MLK) His fellow clergyman agreed with King 's ideology that the laws were unjust, but furthermore agreed with Socrates ideology in that King shouldn’t have refuse to comply with the law.
King was disappointed in the biased and distorted views of his fellow religious colleagues and the fact that they showed no concern for the brutality endured by the black community. The exigence of it is Dr. King felt the necessity to defend and justify his nonviolent actions and responded to their accusations and disapproval by writing a Letter from Birmingham Jail. In his letter King wrote about racial discrimination and the struggles and inequalities faced by the black community and he intended for it to encourage and promote desegregation and equality among all nations.
19). Here we see Kings argument fall under the strategies logos and ethos. This time he appeals to personal experience under logos. His argument to the clergymen is that laws are just but they can become unjust when they are used for the wrong reasons. According to Miller this is appealing to personal experience, King first hand experiences this when he gets arrested.
Rev King said “I agreed at once that some sort of protest was necessary, and that the boycott method would be an effective one”2 At the same time that Martin Luther King was preaching non-violence as a way to achieve equality, other prominent African-Americans were preaching that African-Americans should fight injustice with any means necessary, including violence. One of the most prominent African-American on this side of the question was Malcolm Little (Malcolm X). Malcolm X, like Martin Luther King, was a pastor.
Hudgins believed in the biblical justification for the inferiority of African Americans. This idea was that African Americans were descendants of Ham and therefore were cursed like Ham to a life of serving the white race. This meant that African Americans were not pure in the way Hudgins felt Christian had to be for salvation, and mingling with African Americans could lead towards white Christians becoming impure. This reasoning, mixed with strong feelings from his congregation, is why Hudgins upheld the resolution created by his lay leadership, that denied people of other races from worshiping at First Baptist