Summary Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Picture this. On Good Friday, April 12, 1963, protester against inequality, Martin Luther King Jr., was arrested for parading without a permit. It is now April 16, 1963 and he sits alone in a Birmingham City Jail cell with nothing but a pen, some paper, and a solemn look on his face. In scraggly, but intent words, he writes a letter. He was writing to the church clergymen, determined to make them change their ways. He insisted that, instead of sitting back and watching as black people suffered, they should stand up against inequality. Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical questions, metaphors, and formal structure to influence the clergymen to fight against racial inequality in “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” King uses rhetorical questions throughout his letter to influence the clergymen to think about how African Americans were not treated equally. In paragraph 9, King wonders about the Church by asking, “Who worships here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were their voices of support when tired, …show more content…

In paragraph 1, King establishes his purpose for writing the letter. According to this paragraph, King found a statement made by the clergymen criticizing his actions. He felt that the clergymen had clearly thought out their criticisms and were good people at heart, so he decided to respond in a rational way. He uses formal structure in this paragraph to show respect for the clergymen and to show that he is a reasonable man. In paragraph 2, King writes, “In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: (1) Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive; (2) Negotiation; (3) Self-purification; and (4) Direct action” in a formal structure to explain the steps he and his followers had taken and establishes that he does not want

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