In his letter, Dr. King informed his readers about the protests in Birmingham. He explained why the protesters were civilly infringing racist laws and city ordinances; why the protesters had truth and justice; and how he was thwarted with the clergyman and white moderates in the South who said they supported his cause. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Dr. King incorporates biblical and historical allusions to give him credibility with his target audience, the clergymen. Additionally, Dr. King subtly asks rhetorical questions and makes logical conclusions to force his audience to consider his strategy of nonviolent resistance to cease racism and oppression. Throughout his piece, Dr. King uses many strong connections to biblical theologians and philosophers that strengthen his appeal and credibility.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most influential leader and spokesperson in the civil rights movement. During one of the peaceful protests over the treatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama, King was arrested and sent to jail. While he was in jail he received backlash from eight prominent white clergy who men and responded by writing the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. This letter perfectly expresses King’s feelings toward the unjust events and it is also an example of a well written argument. The intended audience for this letter was not just the eight clergy men but also for any whites who believed the black community should stop protesting and let time take over their fate.
He wrote the famous, “I Have a Dream” speech and the “Letter From Birmingham Jail”. Dr. King stood in front of many people and gave his speech, which was created to strike the people’s emotions of how African Americans suffered and why they wanted a change. In contrast, the letter was created to show the reasoning behind wanting a change, because he was writing to his fellow clergymen who said his actions were unwise and untimely. In Dr. King’s speech and letter, he uses rhetorical appeals many times to compel the feelings and reasoning behind the civil rights movement. In Dr. King’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream” he appealed to the audiences’ emotions about the topic of inequality and he proved his logic and reasoning for the Civil Rights movement.
While people chose the way of demonstrations to overcome this corruption, some clergymen representatives published a so called Call for Unity in the newspaper. In this appeal they called the process of defending rights of people unwise and untimely. As a response to this claim, Martin Luther wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail, reflecting the African American desire to get
In the “letter from Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he uses pathos, logos and rhetorical devices such as imagery, sarcasm and biblical allusions to show how his work of nonviolent protests are smart and how Birmingham has violated their civil rights. He expresses himself in his letter by explaining why he can not wait any longer because of the countless murders, the unsolved bombing, lynching, and violence towards the black community. MLK Jr. came across a statement which was a call for unity by eight Clergymen while being in the Birmingham city jail because of him not having a license to protest. In response to the eight Clergymen, Dr. king decided to write a historical letter letting them know that freedom was not an option because of the false promise and the continued violence. The letter is written to inform the people who are against, neutral and with segregation that it is time to take action and prove to the clergymen why he will stand up for what is right.
Rhetorical Analysis: Letter from Birmingham City Jail “I think I should give my reason for being in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the argument of outsider’s coming in (King,1963).” Dr. King was the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and he was one of the most visible spokesperson. Dr. King wrote “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” for the purpose of explaining why he was in a Birmingham, Alabama, jail and also talking about segregation and how hard it was on people. Dr. King’s letter shows how hard he was fighting for freedom, and how horrendous segregation was. To begin, in Dr. King’s letter his audience was the local white clergy who criticized him. King had hoped they would support him.
From 1955-1968, African Americans in the south and other parts of the country begin to start a movement, called the Civil Rights Movement. This movement was to ensure that every African American and other minorities in the United States gained equality. Martin Luther King, Jr a popular civil rights leader wrote a letter during his time in jail which addressed the clergymen who criticized his actions with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Birmingham. In the letter Dr.King addresses the wrongdoings that African Americans suffer from and how he plans on attaining equality. Letter from Birmingham City Jail is a very important document which depicts information from post-slavery times in America, and birthed the Civil Rights Movement in the southern region of the United States.
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.
Dawn McNeil-Bruce English 2100 Professor Andrews- Parker 10/21/15 The Rhetorical Techniques in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” The unjust treatment of African Americans have cause a significant amount of African American leaders to use different ways to advocate for racial equality. One very famous advocate was Martin Luther King Jr. On April 16, 1963, Dr. King had written a letter from Birmingham jail to eight clergymen towards racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. had used this letter to convince the clergymen of the racial injustice towards African Americans. In order to persuade his audience Dr. King had used rhetorical devices to appeal to them. Martin Luther King Jr. uses an urgent tone to his
How he wrote his argument and how well. Analyze his use of ethos/emotion Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written during 1963, when African Americans were fighting for black and white equality. We can see this by the vocabulary that he uses, like “Negro”, which was used around that time period and no longer used anymore. We can also see this through the context of the letter; that King wants freedom for African Americans. The purpose of this letter is that Martin Luther King is trying to convince the clergymen that him and his “people” demonstrated because it was absolutely necessary at that time.
On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the “Letter from Birmingham City Jail.” This letter was intended to be a response to the eight clergymen of Alabama, who wrote a response concerning King, and the racial issues going on in Birmingham. The response of the eight clergymen was a way to criticize King and the Negro community for basically taking action. Referring to King’s efforts as “unwise and untimely.” Meaning, that it was not a convenient time to start protesting around town and getting attention. Meaning, stop trying to change how things work, and just wait for it. Key word, “wait.” That’s precisely what King did not want to do, he grew tired of hearing that four letter word his whole life, he and many others wanted to see change
In the year 1963 of August, Martin Luther King wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as a response of a letter published in a local newspaper. This letter, written by the Clergymen of Birmingham at this time, caught his attention while he was confined in jail for parading without a permit. This time allowed him to respond passionately to the injustice in Birmingham. King’s letter addresses specific points presented in the Clergymen’s, and his direct approach separates King’s strong points through his powerful writing. King is able to defend these differing views and actions through rhetorical devices such as ethos, logos, and pathos.
Martin Luther King uses allusion in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to add greater meaning to the cause he is defending. Dr. King includes many biblical references in his writing to compare the similarities between actions in the bible and his. For instance, Martin Luther King says “like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.” Since Martin Luther King King is writing his letter to clergymen, his religious allusions are used to appeal to them; specifically, Dr. King brings up the point that certain tension is caused by people who have been subjected to grievances and believe “...that the white man is an incurable ‘devil.’” In saying this, Martin Luther King tells the clergymen that their sanctimonious acts and racial
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was written 1963. It is in the form of an open letter, which means that its purpose was to be seen by the public and its readers were able to make their own judgments on the issues at hand. It was written as a response to the letter of eight clergymen who expressed their dissatisfaction of King’s protests in Birmingham. The main thesis of the Birmingham letter is that black people would no longer stand idly and watch as the white community denies them their rights given by God.
Critical Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail The Letter form the Birmingham jail is one of the greatest piece written my Mr. King today, pointing out various laws which were called unjust laws to the Negros community in Birmingham. After many steps considered to reach a conclusion of demonstration to point out the awareness of these unjust laws. African Americans where given the 14th amendment and laws where established to fight for the black Civil Rights in the early 60’s, but discrimination in social establishments, public places and other areas where still encountered. Mr. King elaborating in his letter the different incidents that points to discrimination, from police violence
JoAnna Guzman AP English Period 4 Mrs. Solis 5 February 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. letter “ Letter from Birmingham Jail” was a response to eight Alabama clergymen of 1963. The clergymen had accused King of being an “outsider” and interfering with the racial issues of the community of Birmingham. When writing in response to the eight clergymen from Alabama Martin Luther King Jr. uses the rhetorical device of historical and biblical allusions.The use of the historical and biblical allusions/ references being used is to help build a standard ground for his audiences and the clergymen; it also helps make his letter more effective. King 's letter uses biblical allusions to create analogies between
Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”: Just and Unjust Laws Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a letter to eight white clergymen while he’s sitting in a jail cell, the result of a protest in Birmingham, Alabama that King, a Georgian, traveled to attend. Due to the criticisms of the clergymen, he commences his letter by explaining why he needed to come to Birmingham. King states that he was there for a multitude of reasons, the first being that he had organizational ties to Birmingham, the second being that he was there because there was injustice in Birmingham. He states that as a citizen of America, injustice in Birmingham is not removed from justice anywhere else because everything is interrelated, and that injustice
Through the act of peaceful protest without a permit in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. While imprisoned, King wrote a letter intended for his fellow clergymen. In this letter, he addressed several criticisms that were being made about him and his movement. He used this to structure his letter in a coherent manner, all the while using several rhetorical
He also wrote his Letter From Birmingham Jail on April 6, 1963 to 8 white clergymen to reply to what they said about him for protesting racial segregation. They said that what he was doing was “unwise and untimely.” Both of the pieces writing had logos which is a logical appeal and pathos which is emotional appeal. In this essay I will compare the two pieces of writing that Martin Luther King Jr. wrote and how he used logos and pathos in both pieces. When Martin Luther King Jr. did his I Have a Dream Speech he used two persuasive appeals, one was logical appeal and the other was an emotional appeal. At the beginning of his speech he started talking about Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
“Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King was an interesting piece of writing. It was developed in response to a statement “A Call for Unity.” Within this statement, these eight Clergymen talked about the racial segregation that was going on, and how it should be handled by higher authorities than left into the hands of the people. However, Martin Luther King on the other hand expressed how inequality were shown everywhere. Therefore, he uses three rhetorical elements logos, pathos, and ethos within his letter, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as a guide to get his message through to the people. Moreover, King uses these three rhetorical elements to express the treatment African Americans faced, the unjust laws by using examples back in history to show that these laws were not right at all, and his reason as to why he is in Birmingham due to the racial inequality whites have shown towards negroes.