Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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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. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference focused on Birmingham, Alabama to start a nonviolent direct action campaign with the goal to get the city to get rid of segregation laws. When a federal injunction was put into place to prevent the protest without permission of the city, Martin Luther King Jr. persevered and decided to go on with the campaign. He got arrested for heading the demonstration and was in jail for eight days. When King heard of the eight clergymen who wrote a letter criticizing the direct action campaign, he began to write his well-known Letter from a Birmingham Jail. One of the tactics he uses to get people to agree with him is he uses emotion to get people’s attention. An example of this comes from paragraph eleven in which the main focus is a lengthy sentence devoted to naming the struggles African Americans endured during that time. An example from the sentence is “But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim…” (King )

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