Birmingham, Alabama was a tough place to live as an African-American in the early 1960’s due to social injustice and segregation. Violent crimes against African-Americans occurred regularly, and they happened with few people standing up for African-Americans. Shortly after arriving in Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. found himself in Birmingham Jail after standing up for African-Americans by peacefully protesting segregation. There were many critics of Dr. King at the time, and a few of them were clergymen who wrote an open letter criticizing the civil rights demonstrations. Dr. King responded to those clergymen from his jail cell in a persuasive manner. Although Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has his critics in the clergy who argue against his civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, he effectively uses all three types of rhetorical strategies to effectively persuade his critics by explaining why his actions are just and timely in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
The civil rights movement was a revolutionary chapter in American history. Leading the movement was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy has been etched in history. Troy Jackson explores the roots of King’s legacy in Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and The Making of a National Leader. Jackson analyzes how different influences in Montgomery, Alabama shaped Dr. King into the leader of the civil rights movement.
Ethos, Logos, and Pathos are important aspects in Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. The meaning behind Ethos is to appeal to ethics, which means convincing readers of the author’s credibility, meanwhile Pathos is an appeal to emotion, and is used in literature to convince readers of an argument by getting their emotions involved. Last but not least, Logos is the appeal to logic and is used to persuade readers using a force of reason. These terms are important in MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail because the foundation of the letter is built upon ideas of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. King shows Ethos in his letter by writing back to the clergy men who had objections against King’s protest in Birmingham. They basically called him an outsider but by establishing his credibility, King shows that he is in fact an
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.
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. Martin Luther King is not just an African-American who wants to protest against injustice. However, he is the “president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every
Martin Luther King is a respectable civil rights leader who devote himself to fight against discrimination and inequalities. King’s highly illustrative work, “Strength to Love,” reveals the deep meaning of “love,” which is not only altruism, but reciprocity, and the essential conditions, which he expresses as “Strength,” to love powerfully; this work strongly states that no matter what race, all citizens should be equal and be capable to love each other.
Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail addresses his fellow clergymen and others who critiqued him for his actions during this time. The clergymen along with others are addressed in an assertive tone allowing them to fully understand why his actions are justified. Throughout the letter critics are disproved through King’s effective use of diction and selection of detail.
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.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement in 1954. He had a great impact on race relations in the U.S. and he made a great impact on many lives. He died in 1968. Dr. King wrote 2 famous works, “Dream” and “Birmingham” and each had a different audience and purpose. Both works utilizes the persuasive techniques of pathos in “Dream” and logos in “Birmingham.” Both of the works had a powerful message that brought faith to many. Dr. King brought people up and gave them hope that one day everything will be taken care of and we 'll all be happy, he said that one day we 'll have peace and love among each other. He said that one day we won 't have to worry about our skin color and segregation and that we 'll all come together as one.
In “A Letter From A Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr defends his use of nonviolent protest in order to accomplish racial equality. In the letter, Dr. King uses ethos, diction, and allusions when defending nonviolent protest which makes his argument really strong. His goal is to make the clergymen help him fight racial equality.
Martin Luther King Jr. introduced a very controversial argument about why he believed that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”(264). In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” King stated that justice is never given by the oppressor and the reason why his protests were very relevant and wise was because the issues needed to be addressed right then and not later. Moving along throughout his entire letter his primary thesis seemed to be that if the people wanted to be free from racial injustice they needed to participate in nonviolent protests. Given his setting and atmosphere, MLK did an extremely impressive job of using kairos and other rhetorical techniques in his piece. His argument was definitely
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. King uses biblical allusions to appeal to the eight white clergymen and their religious affiliation when he states his duty to carry the “gospel of freedom beyond his home town... Like Paul.” His final point of this section is the clergymen’s failure to recognize the underlying causes of the demonstrations they so harshly condemn, a failure causing further ignorance and confusion on racial
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. Throughout the text, King utilized the values of his audience to gain sympathy and later on support. His use of diction and syntax would align his mission to God’s, and show that he was in the right and the clergymen were in the wrong.
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.
“Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively” (MLK 5). On April 12th, 1963 eight Alabama Clergymen made a public statement regarding Martin Luther King, Jr.’s protests in Birmingham. They referred to the protests as unwise, untimely, and as an act to precipitate violence. They ask for the Negro community to withdraw support from the protests, stating that they are counterproductive to creating peace in Birmingham. Four days after the Clergymen made their statement Martin Luther King Jr. felt compelled to act upon their grievances by replying with a letter titled “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” while he was incarcerated on account of the protests. King