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.
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 a Baptist minister and social activist, and he was in charge of the American civil rights movement. He was fighting for human rights for African-Americans. His major claim in “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”, is to spread justice in the country and how the nonviolent can resist racism, violence between people. One of the important sub claim that he mentions in his letter is “This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘never’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that justice too long delayed is justice denied” ( King paragraph 11). This quote is important because if people in power still say “wait” for justice to be fix then, that will be ‘Never’ be fixed.
“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.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an important figure in gaining civil rights throughout the 1960’s and he’s very deserving of that title as seen in both his “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” letter. In both of these writings Dr. King uses logos - logical persuasion - and pathos - emotional appeal - to change the opinions of people who were for segregation and against civil rights. Although King was arrested for a nonviolent protest, he still found a way to justify his actions with the use of logos and pathos. MLK uses both ways to gain the attention and agreement of the audience but, he uses pathos not just more, but in a more relatable way in order to appeal to his audience.
JoAnna Guzman AP English Period 4 Mrs. Solis 5 February 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. letter “ Letter from Birmingham Jail” was a response to eight Alabama clergymen of 1963. The clergymen had accused King of being an “outsider” and interfering with the racial issues of the community of Birmingham. When writing in response to the eight clergymen from Alabama Martin Luther King Jr. uses the rhetorical device of historical and biblical allusions.
Taking a look back at paragraph 10, the picture that King paints stirs emotions within the reader. By describing the struggle and horrors that blacks go through, King makes the reader question the current system and why it’s the way it is. The “Letter From Birmingham Jail” is a strong piece of literature that sends an impactful message. He is able to justify all of his actions and effectively persuade the reader into siding with him.
During the 19th and 20th centuries there were numerous discussions and reflections about the social status of African-Americans, especially concerning their rights, and equality in comparison to the White Americans. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a letter written by Martin Luther King Jr in 1963, when African Americans were fighting for equality with the White Americans. King wrote this eloquent and profound letter while incarcerated in a prison in the city of Birmingham. In that letter, responding to criticism of his fellow members of the clergy, Dr. King explains to the world the purpose of its activities and choices. Indeed his colleagues were not adhering to its activities.
On April 3rd 1968 Former civil rights leader Martin Luther King jr. employs the appeal of ethos, pathos and logos effectively in his speech “I’ve been to the mountaintop”. to persuade the people to stand up for equality. Martin Luther king jr. use of pathos strengthens his ability to make an emotional connection with the audience because they must have went through the similar experience. “Thirteen Hundred of God’s children are suffering, sometimes are going hungry,going through dark and dreary nights”.
The March on Washington was an event that took place in 1963, where many people fought for jobs, freedom, and equality. This event was a major part of the Civil Rights Movement, which lasted from 1954 to 1968. Many speeches were given on this day, including Martin Luther King Jr’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” and John Lewis’ speech, “Patience is a Dirty and Nasty Word”. Both of these speeches were written having the same goal in mind, to bring justice to all African Americans. Another well-known speech was given prior to the March on Washington, by Malcolm X titled, “What Does Mississippi Have to Do with Harlem?”
He led several nonviolent protests in Birmingham as a way to advocate for change and equality for African Americans. However, after a few nonviolent protests looking for desegregation, MLK was arrested in Birmingham, AL. In April 16, 1963, while in jail Martin Luther King wrote one of the most important letters ever written as a response to the Clergyman’s Call for Unity. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, perfectly applies rhetorical strategies such as Pathos and Logos in order persuade not only his main audience, which was the people supporting segregation, but all the Americans to fight for desegregation. Dr. Martin Luther King perfectly clarify his ambitions through pathos, by using words that emotionally appeal to his audience, and aims to persuade them to join him in the fight for desegregation.
Martin Luther King was one of the greatest speech givers in the modern era. King knew how to move crowds with words and utilize the strength in his tone to empower others. A reverend by training, King always used religious references to further lift emotions in the crowd. His most famous speech was undoubtedly I Have A Dream but King made many more famous speeches. I’ve Been to the Mountaintop was King's last and arguably his most powerful speech.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” (King, Jr.). Martin Luther King Jr. exceeded this “measure of a man” during his civil rights acts as a strong soldier in a very volatile time. During this time of “challenge and controversy” King made himself heard in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In some of his civil rights acts that occurred in Birmingham, resulted in him ending up in jail. During his time in jail, he wrote his also famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
Compelling Craft The craft of using words to create a mood or an atmosphere takes great skill to make an audience understand and feel the cause a writer is fighting for. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail. In his letter he made a compelling argument to a group of clergymen, who questioned his quest. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his compelling argument using pathos, ethos, and Kairos by utilizing personal experiences, expressing a moral obligation to help, and his timely involvement for direct action.
In similarities, the writing is a motivational and inspirational theme using Ethos, Pathos, and Logos to connect to the audience. Inspirational and motivational poems connect to the audience on another level as if the author and the reader are having a heart to heart conversation. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou) Inspirational writing are a lifetime piece of art put into words.