Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In his early years, Martin Luther King Junior served as a president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a position which made him not only famous but also vocal in in fighting for civil rights for the minority African Americans (Samad, 2009). As a religious and civil rights leader, he was requested by Members of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights group to join them in a "nonviolent direct-action program" in Birmingham to protest the segregation-ingested city. The city leaders including the mayor, police commissioner, and the governor were all segregationists (Samad, 2009). As a result, the town had become an unbearable place for African Americans to coexist peacefully with the whites. Because of protest, all protesters …show more content…

He also used logic and ethics to persuade his audience to not only feel the plight of African Americans, but also join him in the anti-racist movement. He effectively used his language and rhetoric to turn the clergymen’s words against them. This paper seeks to discuss the purpose, audience, context, and the classical appeals as covered in Martin Luther King Junior’s “Letter from Birmingham jail”. It will discuss on how King uses ethics, logic, emotions, imagery, and metaphors to help him convey a contemporary message to the eight clergymen and the “white moderate” people (community at …show more content…

In order to help everyone understand what segregation was all about, he uses the following analogy, “You have seen hate-filled police curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters...you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television” (Ramage, Bean, & Johnson, p. 588, 2011). Although it might be considered a strong-worded imagery, it served its intended purpose; evoking emotions among his audience by helping to the paint a vivid picture of the context he referred to. In addition, King used a wide range of personal stories that he encountered to drag his audience’s raw emotions into strong and sensitive emotions. Both the clergymen and the “white moderate” developed a clearer picture about the devastating effects that segregation had on African

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