Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter To Birmingham City Jail

726 Words3 Pages
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.
Martin Luther King opens up his Letter from Birmingham City Jail by appealing to the clergymen's emotions, and assuring his peaceful response, which he describes in "patient and
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King follows the rest of the letter with more emotional cries, which included the split that had formed within the black community, on the argument of civil rights; Some had begun to settle for segregation, including some of the clergymen who had criticized King. Near the end, he opposes the clergymen's praise toward the Birmingham Police Department, by providing a vivid description of the attack on himself and his fellow protesters, leading up to his arrest. MLK closes his letter by stating his current situation, apologizing for the letter's length, and portraying a deep sense of pity, as he wishes for all to find faith for a better future.
Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham City Jail makes heavy use of ethos and logos to clarify issues and concerns from his criticizers, but relies even more on the emotional connection that it portrays on the reader. With this clarification, King is able to defend his image, and re-ignite the drive, that his imprisonment and criticism had halted, towards the progression of the Civil Rights Movement.
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