Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Birmingham, Alabama was a tough place to live as an African-American in the early 1960’s due to social injustice and segregation. Violent crimes against African-Americans occurred regularly, and they happened with few people standing up for African-Americans. Shortly after arriving in Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. found himself in Birmingham Jail after standing up for African-Americans by peacefully protesting segregation. There were many critics of Dr. King at the time, and a few of them were clergymen who wrote an open letter criticizing the civil rights demonstrations. Dr. King responded to those clergymen from his jail cell in a persuasive manner. Although Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has his critics in the clergy who argue against his civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, he effectively uses all three types of rhetorical strategies to effectively persuade his critics by explaining why his actions are just and timely in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
In his response Dr. King has to establish credibility early since his audience has already been critical of his actions, and he accomplishes this immediately. He establishes a connection with a part of his intended audience, the clergymen, by stating his role in different organizations. Dr. King writes “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five
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