Summary Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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“Letter from Birmingham Jail” written by Martin Luther King JR. is a concise letter that addresses the overall situation and challenges that black community faced during the segregation period. In his letter of response to the eight clergymen who doubt his “non-violent direct-action program” in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. King emphasizes the consequences of injustice for the justice system that presents anywhere (800). In his letter, Dr. King informs the clergymen about the cruel treatment and the injustice that has been practiced in the black community. In addition to informing, Dr. King reflects that his nonviolent protest to end segregation in Birmingham is wise and timely by pointing out how much black people suffered from the racial injustice. …show more content…

King uses in his letter of response is pathos. In paragraph 13 and 14, Dr. King indicates how much black people experience the hardships of practicing their own “constitutional and God given rights” (803). In paragraph 14 of his letter, Dr. King presents the scenario in which millions of black people live in a place of poverty where “policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters. . .for more than 340 years” (803). As Dr. King emphasizes, now is the right time to seek the freedom that every human being has the right to get, but colored people have been banned: “justice too long delayed is justice denied” (803). The striking examples that Dr. King presents in paragraph 14 make his audiences feel guilty for calling his activities as “unwise, untimely, and extreme” (800). King illustrates the challenges they face in their day to day lives as “. . . we creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter” (803). In addition to noting the difficulty in their daily lives, Dr. King points out how children develop a sense of animosity against the white community when they analyze even public park is closed for the colored children: “when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky. . .” (803). Dr. King’s use of appropriate words, phrases, and …show more content…

King uses pathos to make them regret for calling his nonviolent protest as extreme and unwise. In paragraph 27 to paragraph 32, Dr. King mentions his disappointment for his fellow clergymen who doubt his peaceful method to end segregation by informing them that “oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever” (807). At some point, oppressed people will express their grudge mostly through violence: “If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence” (807). By reminding the clergymen of his effort to help the black people express their hatred in a nonviolent action and prevent the violence from happening, Dr. King refute their criticism of his method as extremist by doing so he is able to indicate the clergymen about their imprecise judgment of his peaceful protests and make them regret for their words. Dr. King’s use of pathos is so effective in transferring his purpose of informing and persuading his audiences about ending the racial prejudice and the misunderstanding that presents between the black and white

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