Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter To Birmingham

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Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter from his jail cell in Birmingham after he was imprisoned during a march for civil rights. This letter was in response to one written by church leaders in Birmingham condemning the actions of Martin Luther King Jr. and his compatriots. They felt the march was “unwise and untimely” and expressed a belief that the problems he was protesting were better fought through the court system. Overall, Dr. King spoke about the necessity and process of non- violent direct action, just and unjust laws, and of his disappointment in the actions of the white moderate. He argued with the words and logic of a well-educated gentlemen to counteract the church’s argument which appealed to white moderates. Dr. King later in the document expresses disappointment in the white moderates and the church for their roundabout methods …show more content…

King also wrote on the purpose of direct action. He relied heavily on the warrant that successful negotiation was a good thing to support his claims that direct action was necessary. He needs this warrant to be strong because he does not have many facts to provide support and thus his support mostly consists of emotional appeals to the warrant. Everybody involved between him and his intended audience want successful negotiation and he uses that to effectively push his argument forward. He also leaned on his stated warrant that direct action resulted in negotiation thereby linking back to the previous warrant to support the emotional aspect of his argument. He stated “You are exactly right in your call for negotiation. Indeed, this is the purpose of direct action.” He argued that direct action forced productive negotiation by forcing constructive tension. While he argued strongly against violent actions he felt that tension was vitally important to successful negotiations. He argued the right kind of tension would provide the required force to push through successful negotiation to fix the problems that plagued the

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