Dr. King fought his whole career for equality amongst the races, meaning all communities with violent, racist actions should be addressed. The clergymen presented Dr. King with a list of arguments they had against him; he responded to these in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. A few of the arguments King responded to from the clergymen were to have local solutions to local problems; to pursue justice in the courts, not the streets; and to keep peace, law, and order among all. Corwin 2 The clergymen of Alabama were clearly against any outsiders coming into their territory. They had called Dr. King an outsider to the Birmingham community.
Dominick Bedasse ENC1102 February 22, 2011 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attempts to validate his actions of demonstrating against segregation in response to criticism by Alabama clergymen. In hopes of reaching out to the clergymen, King argues for desegregation through his use of ethical appeal, emotional appeal, as well as logical reasoning. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opens his letter by making note of the fact that he is the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (p. 2). This may be an attempt for King to establish himself as a credible figure; one whose words are legitimate and has an argument deserving of full attention. King also states that he is “compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my (his) home town.
Victoria Lopez English 1101 December 10, 2012 Rhetorical Analysis Martin Luther King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”, published in 1964 in his own book Why We Can’t Wait, addresses and explains his current situation to the clergymen of Alabama. On April 12, 1963 Dr. King was arrested in the streets of Birmingham, Alabama for contempt of court and parading without a permit during a protest. His purpose of the letter is to inform the clergymen of his views and the reasons for his “direct action” on the issue of desegregation. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked for equal rights for all. He was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice, and he never got tired of trying to end segregation laws.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written in Birmingham Jail in 1963 as a response to the Clergymen to explain his actions and also to answer their questions on why he did not call off the demonstrations. King was a civil rights activist who organized a campaign against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. In his letter, King uses anaphora and allusions frequently. He also appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos to make his letter a paradigm of effective rhetoric. King uses allusions frequently throughout his letter.
On April 12 in 1963, 53 blacks led by King marched into Birmingham to protest the existing segregation laws. All were arrested. The injustice in Birmingham was a threat to the rest of the United States, therefore it was a necessity for a leader like King to come to Birmingham. While in jail for 8 days, King wrote a letter addressed to white religious leaders. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, King uses rhetorical appeals to attempt to justify the desperate need for immediate nonviolent direct action, to explain his actions to the audience and perhaps change their opinion.
AP Language & Composition Sample Responses to Questions on MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail Read as a response to the letter by the clergymen, King’s essay can be approached as a shrewd argument that shows a thorough understanding of its immediate audience. Following his introduction, in paragraphs 2-3 King explains why he is not an ousider; in paragraphs 5-11, he explains how his organization has tried to negotiate and how it will again; in paragraphs 12-14, he refutes the accusation that his organization’s actions are untimely; and in paragraphs 15-22 he presents an argument justifying civil disobedience. In each case, King deftly crafts his response to show that he, in fact, agrees with the claim the clergymen make, but he redefines the terms for them. For example, he agrees that outsiders should not intrude in community issues; then he shows that he is an insider by virtue of his position in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his concern for justice, and his belief that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thus, King systematically, logically, and (one might argue) respectfully responds to each claim made against him. After these counterarguments, he mounts his own argument.
“But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.” He is using the rhetorical device diction in this quote to express the extent of his need and presence in Birmingham. Where ever injustice is in any city within the U.S. Dr. King goes to that city. The comparisons that Dr. King uses in his letter are used to provide an example of his actions to his critics in order to clarify them in Birmingham. “… and just as the Apostle Paul left his little village of tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically every hamlet and city of the Greco-Roman world, I too am compelled
Kings distinctive voice conveys his determination in uniting a nation to bring the changes needed. His experience in ac church had helped him create a voice which creates pathos as he preaches his message to the audiences, and thus his repetitive and memorable words create a distinctive voice throughout the speech. Similarly, he also creates his distinctive voice through the urgency he demands of America for change. For instance, King states, “tranquilising drug of gradualism” to show how this the required change the African Americans
Analysis: Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” In April of 1963 Martin Luther King was arrested during a nonviolent demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama. While incarcerated, he came across a public statement, “A Call for Unity” made by eight white clergymen in attempt to criticize his work and ideas. It was then that Martin Luther King wrote his rebuttal “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, using rhetorical appeals to not only under mind the clergymen’s statement, but their moral sense and obligation in the eyes of God. Upon doing so; Dr. King quotes St. Augustine when he said, “I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal, but moral responsibility to obey just laws.
In Obama’s speech he says that blacks still hold a resentment towards the white man. His speech, however, contradicts itself because he supports ending discrimination and the racial divide, but understand why his Reverend has resentment toward white people based on previous actions by our ancestors. He ground his speech on actions that he saw in his times, and uses historical facts to help people understand his point of view and urges our nation to change their behaviors. Obama explains that America is a diverse nation, and that people discriminate based on: religion, race and education. Some contemporary documents and literary works that have issues such as colorblindness, racism and white resentment include: Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial