Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and sent to jail because he and others were protesting the treatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama. While sitting in jail he received a letter from 8 white clergymen stating that his methods were unwise and untimely. So Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took it upon his self to reply to the fellow men explaining his vision and beliefs to achieve his goals in Birmingham.
In his letter he is mainly reaching out to the entire country to try and get them to put a stop to racial injustice. The way that he addressed and refuted the clergymen's letter is one of the things that made this letter most effective. Another thing that made this letter so effective, is the way that he used the appeal to emotion, or pathos, to pull the readers in and make them think about if it were them that were being discriminated against. Martin Luther King Jr. is very successful in explaining how injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
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.
These two remarkable pieces of writing share common themes of rights and Freedom such as injustice, tone, and allusion in America. To begin with, in both Letter from Birmingham and Four freedom dr. King and Roosevelt use similar tones. In Letter from Birmingham jail, Dr. King tone comes off as noble and slightly angry.
I believe that paragraphs 9 and 12 from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” are the strongest paragraphs in this letter of his. These paragraph is so profound and truly explain why segregation is unjust in two short paragraphs. They don’t go into a lot of detail on why segregation is unjust, because they don’t need to. They’re argument is strong enough with how short they are. Since these paragraphs give an easy to understand and short reasoning as to why segregation is unjust, explains what makes a law just or unjust, and show that just laws can be unjust when applied to situations such as segregation, I believe they are the strongest paragraphs in this letter.
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.
While imprisoned, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, ‘A letter from Birmingham Jail’ as a response to eight clergymen who published a statement that emphatically disagreed with King’s methods of protest towards racism. Dr. King’s reply is demonstrated in a writing style that could be described as ‘efficient’ as he balanced different aspects of organization of his thoughts and passion through use of rhetorical devices to achieve an effective argument. Dr. King, possibly from his pastoral background, wrote his letter in an eloquent, sermon-like matter, yet it was his use of rhetorical devices that effectively stitched his argument together and gave it an interesting flow, either by reminding the reader of his purpose in writing, or to progress through his reasons in an impactful way.
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.
When responding to the eight white clergymen, he states, “Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas,” giving the reader the notion that a plethora of criticism must come across his desk. But, he has chosen to write a response and explain himself simply because King feels they are “men of genuine good will” and their criticism is “sincerely set forth.” After the introduction of his letter, he feels he must next explain his location at the time: Birmingham Jail. “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here,” says King. This quote lets the reader know there is a reason behind King’s arrest, a very good reason, too.
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."
Atlanta, Georgia 1929, a Baptist priest was born a son who would grow up to be a fighter of extraordinary proportions. This son grew up into a man-Martin Luther King Jr. and this man became the face of African American civil rights during the 60’s. April 16, 1963 he wrote a powerful letter in response to white clergyman who stated that racial injustices should not be fought in the streets, but rather in the courts. A Letter From Birmingham Jail is a piece that defined a trying time in American history and continues to be relevant today. King discusses non-violent resistance and the deplorable state the church was in.
King had organizational ties there, and wanted to end the racial injustice that was happening in the city (1). While in Birmingham, King was sent to the city jail for protesting without a permit. While in the jail facility, he wrote a letter responding to several clergymen’s statements on his nonviolent demonstrations
Martin Luther King Jr. was a widely known minister, activist and political leader in the American history. But he excelled for his role in the Civil Rights Movement, which was a way of civil disobedience. When arrested and held prisoner in Birmingham jail for protesting without a permit King wrote the famous Letter from Birmingham Jail as a response to the Clergymen that argued that the problem of racism should be solved by the locals and King and his people were just ‘outsiders’ causing more trouble and that he wasn’t following the protocol for civil disobedience. In his letter King stated that he and his people tried countless times to talk to the authorities but were ignored and were ‘victims of false promises’ every time; this didn’t leave
Response to “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. In Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, he responded to statements written in a Birmingham newspaper that criticized his actions in the city. He undermined these disapprovals by explaining his belief in nonviolent direct action. King also went on to give opinions on other topics, such as, the lack of support from white moderates and white churches. He used technique and structure to develop his ideas and justify his methods.
Upon being imprisoned for marching Dr Martin Luther King wrote a letter to the fellow clergymen of Birmingham, addressing his reasons as to why he committed his “crime”, This letter was widely known as “The Letter of Birmingham”. This letter was very influential and paramount to the cause of civil rights as it spurred up future events that would play essential roles in ending racial segregation in America. Throughout his whole letter, King used Ethos, logos, and pathos to firmly get his message across while adding rhetorical devices such as repetition, metaphors, and biblical references.