Summary of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. writes about the issue of waiting for justice and God given rights for African Americans, the need for a good faith negotiation quickly, and using the strategy of a non-violent campaign and protest to achieve it all. His initial reasoning for writing these letters was to answer the sincere criticism he had received from a fellow clergymen in hopes to bring about a negotiation of peace. Dr. King hoped to shed light on the reasoning be hide the protesting and explain why the protesting needed to take place and at such an “untimely” time. He also yearned to shed light on the racism that had engulfed the nation and the ugly record of brutality that African Americans had suffered in the past and at that moment currently. His letters brought to light the injustice of the past and persuaded the clergymen to finally grant African Americans the Constitutional rights and the respect they deserved.
Martin Luther King starts out his letters by explaining why he had come to Birmingham. He stated that he …show more content…
He describes some of the unjust laws that African Americans had faced and goes on to tell about why these unjust laws on minorities should be broken and challenged. For example, he tells about the unjust law of being put be hide bars for parading and being denied the right to vote. He tells how unjust laws can be degrading to human personality and that all segregation acts are unjust laws. King states that it is his moral responsibility to stand up against the unjust laws that rule African American’s lives. He agreed with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all." He explains that he will fight unjust laws, even if it means spending a night in jail. He is willing to take the penalty for breaking a law, but is unwilling to let unjust laws degrade and take over African American’s
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Martin Luther King Biography Martin Luther King was born on January 15.1929, in Atlanta (Georgia). He was a Baptist minister who led the Civil Rights movement in United States, from 1950 until his death by assassination in 1968. He also played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American in the south and other areas of the nation. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and also he was one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history. In 1954 he became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist church in Alabama.
Martin Luther King wrote "Letter from Birmingham Jail" not only to reply to criticism from clergymen, but to expose the racism in this city and promote his mission. King starts off his letter by writing about how he does not usually reply to all the criticism he receives, but he feels that this topic is too important to let pass by (King 331). King appeals to all aspects of citizens. By mentioning that he is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King ethically appeals to his audience by strengthening his character with experience and leadership skills (King 332). Another way King ethically appeals to his audience is by writing about the many occasions that African Americans have been treated unfairly.
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.
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.
The writer’s meticulous use of selection of detail, diction and deductive reasoning allows the reader to further understand the events that occurred along with the effects it had on the community as a whole. Those who disagreed with his actions were disproved through these rhetorical devices, allowing them to comprehend his reasoning for his behavior in Birmingham. Overall Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail is
In terms of legacies, Martin Luther King Jr. is an example of someone whose legacy has left an impact on a great many fields. The first to come to mind for most would be civil rights activism, as he was an instrumental figure in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. However, Martin Luther King Jr is an extremely influential figure in the field of oration and rhetoric. His Letter from Birmingham Jail is a work that he wrote while incarcerated in the Birmingham City Jail in response to criticism from Alabama clergymen. This letter is a prime example of King’s expertise in constructing persuasive rhetoric that appealed to the masses at large.
Dr. King's, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is poignant in many ways in regard to a "big picture" viewpoint of our society. Overall, it speaks to the viewpoint that we all have a social responsibility to each other to work against injustice irrespective of where that injustice takes place. "Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter from Birmingham Jail, which was written in April 16, 1963, is a passionate letter that addresses and responds to the issue and criticism that a group of white clergymen had thrown at him and his pro- black American organization about his and his organization's non- violent demonstrative actions against racial prejudice and injustice among black Americans in Birmingham. Dr. King told the local clergy in Birmingham that he understood he was an outsider and he realized that his presence in Birmingham would cause trouble. However, he also felt that he had a moral
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. was sent to jail because of a peaceful protest, protesting treatments of blacks in Birmingham. Before the protest a court ordered that protests couldn’t be held in Birmingham. While being held in Birmingham, King wrote what came to be known as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Not even King himself could predict how much of an impact this letter would have on the Civil Rights Movement. In the letter kind defended Kings beliefs on Nonviolent Protests, King also counters the accusations of him breaking laws by categorizing segregation laws into just and unjust laws. King uses this principle to help persuade others to join him in his acts of civil disobedience.
King believed that if he could just go to Birmingham, and protest non-violently, that he could make a difference. On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. was imprisoned, in Birmingham, for protesting the civil rights of Black Americans. While in jail, he began writing a letter addressing the clergymen. His main audience in writing this letter was to the eight clergymen who criticized his actions and also the majority of the population as well. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail”, argues that injustice
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King defends the protestors’ thirst for justice by demonstrating the unjust society they live in. Over fifty years after the letter was written, it is still read today. Often times it gives people a sense of identity. However this letter gives me more than an identity. This letter gives me reason and motivation to always fight for a just society.
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.
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.
“Letter from Jail” On April 16, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter to the eight clergymen while he was incarcerated. Dr. King wrote this letter to address one of the biggest issues in Birmingham, Alabama and other areas within the United States. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” discussed the great injustices that were happening during that time towards the black community. Dr. King wanted everyone to have the same equal rights as the white community, he also went into further details about the struggles that African Americans were going through for so many years, which he felt like it could change. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, expressed his beliefs and his actions about the Human Rights Movement.
In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” he is addressing the Clergymen, more specifically the white church and its leadership who criticized his efforts in the civil rights movement, by calling his demonstrations unwise and untimely. He is also simultaneously addressing the national audience as well in letting them know of the injustices of the time. It was 1963, and Martin Luther King Jr. wrote this letter from inside a jail cell. He had been arrested during an anti-segregation march for not having a valid parading permit in Birmingham, Alabama. In this letter he addresses the criticisms that were brought forth to him.
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.