Letter from Birmingham Jail

976 WordsDec 9, 20124 Pages
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s letter “A Letter from Birmingham,” was a good example of a counter argument from “A Call to Unity” by eight white clergymen. His inspiration for writing the letter came from clergymen’s unjust proposals affecting African-Americans. Dr. King effectively created his argument by using logos, pathos and ethos. What also helped his case were his personal experiences. He lived during the time where segregation was everywhere in the United States, not as a white man, but as an African-American. He wrote the letter during his stay in Birmingham jail after conducting a peaceful march in that city. He led the march in order to attack the city’s segregation system, but instead, he was imprisoned for disturbing the peace. After first stating the purpose of his letter, Dr. King used logos to start his counterargument. When he wrote in the letter, “You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement... fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations." Dr. King addressed a flaw in the clergymen’s argument. This statement then leads to his point that the demonstrations were inevitable and necessary. When he wrote the phrase, “… left the Negro community no alternative,” he managed to emphasize that there was nothing else African-Americans could do. After writing these statements, he then proceeds to talk about his logical argument concerning the necessary steps to any nonviolent campaign. King's analysis of the reasons and underlying conflicts that are fueling the unrest among blacks and whites in Birmingham utilizes logos. He explains the existence of an injustice, which is the intense segregation present in Birmingham. In fact, he uses extremes such as "Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States," to strengthen his point of view. By using logical

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