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. We live in a world with currently many conflicts from the racial disparity in high incarceration rates to gun violence and the war over gun rights. In his letter, King describes that Black Americans have no identity and that the oppressed cannot remain oppressed forever. King implies that they cannot be told to “wait for justice” because if they simply
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. Because of his skill in creating such pieces of writing, as well as his influential role within the Civil Rights Movement, and the reminder that Letter from Birmingham Jail provides of these trying times, his letter should continue to be included within A World of Ideas.
The Civil rights movement was a long and hard fight for freedom in our nation. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the many people who devoted themselves and fought for the movement. He did it in hope to make the world a better place. Outraged and indignant, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham city jail” addresses the events that took place in the name of freedom. Martin Luther King Jr. reflects on the events, through his use of tone, rhetorical appeals, and rhetorical tools.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong leader in the Civil Rights movement, the son and grandson of a minister, and one heck of a letter writer. As he sits in a cell of Birmingham Jail in 1963, he responds to criticism from eight white clergymen. Though this letter was intended for the judgemental and condescending men of high faith, his response touched the hearts and minds of the entire U.S. population, then, and for years to come. In his tear-jerking, mind-opening letter, King manages to completely discredit every claim made by the clergymen while keeping a polite and formal tone. Metaphors, allusions, and rhetorical questions are used in the most skillful way to support his argument and ultimately convince his audience of the credibility behind his emotional, yet factual, claims.
“...when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”- then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.” (MLK, 276). King uses this strong sense of appeal to emotion to engross his readers and let them know how hard it is for them.
The intro to King's book can be split into three individual sections, each having its own meaning. The first describes the poor living conditions for a black boy and a black girl. In the following section, King reminds the audience of
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.
1. 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.
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.
In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “A Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” he provides answers to fundamental metaphysical questions regarding the nature of the human soul. Though his letter is addressed to a group of eight clergymen criticizing his direct action campaign in Birmingham, his ultimate aim is the uplifting of human personhood. Underlying King’s letter is a philosophical, hylemorphic anthropology which puts an anchor deep into a certain conception of personhood, and binds all people who are to read it. He looks deeply at the nature of human beings, as rational creatures who are made to love and be loved, and from thence, deliberates that there is a universal Gospel of Freedom and Justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. asserts that there are universal principles justifying what actions are morally right and wrong, just and unjust. The principles King lays out rest in our hylemorphic nature: our innate ability to reason objectively so as to lead our emotions, our ability to ascertain whether the human law squares with the moral and eternal law, and our vocation to be pursuers of divine wisdom.
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.
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.
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.
A Letter From Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr. is a name that will never be forgotten, and that will go down in the books for all of time. He was foremost a civil rights activist throughout the 1950s and 1960s. during his lifetime, which lasted from January of 1929 to April of 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and a social activist and was known for his non- violent protests. He believed that all people, no matter the color, have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take a direct action rather than waiting forever for justice to come through and finally be resolved. In the Spring of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stated in a speech that Birmingham was among one of the most segregated cities in the world.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the letter from jail, after he got arrested during a peaceful protest. At the time segregation was still a part of the culture in the United States and Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers were working diligently and peacefully to try and make a change in people’s hearts about segregation. In this letter MLK Jr. is writing to defend his strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, which he does effectively by using rhetoric.