Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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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. The criticism made by the these eight clergyman epitomize the idea of whiteness and white privilege. Rather than to offer assistance and guidance for King and his efforts to diminish racial injustices prevalent in the South, they, instead, offer criticism in an attempt to depreciate King’s fight for racial equity. This rhetoric has occurred often throughout American history, where we see white individuals devaluing and hindering the progress made by individuals of color. For example, one of the critiques that King received was that The Negro community should be more patient and wait for society to move gradually toward civil rights. What white individuals fail to understand is that there is no such thing
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