The Rhetorical Analysis Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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In 1963, at the height of the Civil Rights revolution, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was leading demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. After a court order was issued forbidding demonstrations, King, who speaks obedience to law, decided for the first time to break an unjust law. On April 12, King was arrested for this violation and held unreachable for twenty-four hours. When he was allowed contact, he received a copy of the Birmingham Post Herald of April 13, which carried a public letter from eight local clergymen—Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish—calling the demonstrations “unwise and untimely.” While the clergymen opposed segregation, they urged patience. Although King was not the addressee and the letter never mentioned his name, King…show more content…
In this letter, Martin Luther King is trying to convince a large majority of people that segregation has a negative impact on the community and trying to report the racial difference that African Americans are suffering in the United States. For this purpose, Martin Luther King Jr mainly uses logic and emotion to describe the agony of African-American people who have to live in a racist society. Throughout the letter he showed eloquence and knowledge of the issues of the colored people. Martin Luther King mainly uses the logic and the emotion in his letter, but he also makes use of ethics to illustrate some problems of that society. Through the use of these resources he was able to explain to the world the segregation that African American people were living at that…show more content…
King has progressed from what professor Jonathan Rieder calls a “Diplomat” to a “Prophet.” This clear declaration of self-sufficiency reflects his ultimate sentiment: while he would like the support of his audience, he and his brothers and sisters will persevere and succeed even without it. He establishes this by referring to the greatest indignity in black American history – slavery – and yet owning that period with optimism, as an indication that the black man will triumph over any adversity. What gives them such exceptional power is that they operate with the protection of both the secular (“the sacred heritage of our nation”) and the divine (“the eternal will of God.”) Echoing his earlier arguments that the law and morality cannot be considered as independent concepts, he insists that he will triumph because he believes in justice, and implicitly warns those who do not join him that they are cowardly, promoting injustice instead. In other words, they should join his cause not only for his sake, but for their
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