This is inspiring because it shows the African American people that they can be better than what once was and let go and forgive all who wronged them. Also, in the quotation above he makes apparent that they are going to gain their place in society. He was confident that they were going to gain freedom no matter what. This engages his audience and inspires African Americans to never give up. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s skillful and knowledgeable use of rhetorical modes made his “I Have a Dream” speech one of the most influential and meaningful speeches of all time.
Fighting for Freedom In a “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr., King explains why he was in Birmingham. In 1963 King guided fifty-three African-Americans through Birmingham to protest for Civil Rights. King wrote this letter to answer a letter he had received from eight clergymen saying that, “such demonstrations were unwise, untimely, and extreme”. King replies to their letter from a Birmingham jail explaining why he was there and why all the actions that have taken place were necessary. In this letter Martin Luther King Jr. shows that he is there for his fellow people and justice.
Analysis of “I Have a Dream” and “Letter to Birmingham Jail” In the “Letter to Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King addresses the criticisms and objections that the white clergymen had made towards his and his affiliated organization’s efforts in trying to end segregation and achieve his and his people’s birth right: the right to be free through nonviolent means. Through the “I Have a Dream Speech” King speaks to his supporters and as well as to the entire nation to make them be fully aware of the injustices they are facing and through this make them stand up to those injustices. Both “Letter to Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream Speech” have the same underlying meaning however. That way too long have the black community been treated wrongly. That way too long have the black nation been “judged by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character (King 815)” and therefore it is time for them to rise and stand up for their rights.
Upon these agreements, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, the leader of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, (including Martin Luther King) had agreed to delay the peaceful demonstrations. Unfortunately, these promises were broken and the signs were put up again. Furthermore, King later states: “As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been basted, and the shadow of disappointment settled upon us, we had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community.” In this quotation, he refers to the unjust and ugly treatment towards Negroes such as in the courts, and unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches to support his claim. The implied warrant here, is that most agree that one should not quickly resort to protests and such until they have exhausted all other steps beforehand such as negotiation. To back this, it’s said that these steps do not always work in every situation.
The MIA(Montgomery Improvement Association) was formed with Martin Luther King as president. Leaflets were passed around the black community urging them to stop using the bus services. The effect was immense, with countless buses in Montgomery empty. An MIA meeting of 7000 was held in Holt Street Baptist Church, where it was decided that the boycott would continue. At that meeting Martin Luther King gave an inspiring speech that spread the boycott further among blacks.
President Kennedy shows awareness of the current issue of segregation using imagery, appropriate language, and tone, which assures the public with compelling remarks that he appreciates those who are making a change and requiring the help of others to change the view of this nation. In Kennedy's speech, the repetitive use of "it ought to be possible" is an effective way to point out the different levels of freedom that restricted the average Negro citizen. With this phrase, it leads into the point that "every American should have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated." From a different point of view, number phrases were also successful and effective in his speech. Kennedy included phrases such as one-half, one-third, twice as much, and half as much to indicate the chances of an average American Negro to complete certain obstacles equivalent to the average white American.
Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical strategy in a “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by citing philosophers, theologians, presidents, and the Constitution as evidence. King uses St Thomas Aquinas views to clarify and deduct the fairness of a law: “All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality” (570). To explain why discriminating laws demean the segregationists King states, “Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an ‘I-it’ relationship for an ‘I-thou’ relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things” (570). He references Paul Tillich to validate his contention that segregation is not only morally despicable but also sinful. Stating this country cannot survive being divided as further evidence on his fight for equality by mentioning Abraham Lincoln.
Letter from Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” This quote sums up the main purpose of paragraph 13 and 14 in Martin Luther King’s awe inspiring “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, in the letter MLK no longer wants to wait to negotiate with the whites because they've kept him and African Americans waiting for hundreds of years. In order to express his purpose, MLK uses pathos, repetition and creative metaphors to prove why he doesn’t want to wait for someone to give him freedom anymore. The use of pathos in paragraph 14 is illustrated by the powerful examples MLK has given. MLK appeals to his audience’s emotions by using his children as an example for why he cannot wait, “to see tears welling up in her eyes when she’s told funtown is closed to colored children.” (p.13). MLK using kids as an example in the unjustness of slavery evokes a response in the audience, that might not be found if he instead used an adult as an example.
It would be one of the last speeches he would give as a member of the Nation of Islam. The speech was given to a congregation of African American people desperate for some good news. The March on Washington had taken place weeks earlier and President Kennedy had just been elected. On September 15, 1963 the 16th Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama had been bombed by members of the KKK killing four young girls. This was a turning point in the civil right movement as it motivated many people to take action (UCLA film and television archive).
Summary Response-Letter from the Birmingham Jail In this letter, Martin Luther King Jr. describes the current states of injustice and inequality that plague the Negro community during this time as he is writing from his jail cell. He writes to his fellow supporters and brothers and explains the reasons for being in Birmingham in the first place were because he felt it was necessary to protest injustice everywhere. Communities such as Birmingham were known to observe segregation laws that isolated black people from white people and in his opinion were classified as unjust laws. He claims to be a supporter of just laws and a non-violent protestor of unjust laws in which violate human morals and dignity. By citing references of protest such as Jesus Christ, St. Paul, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, he justifies his current actions for the Negro community and states that he is willing to face the consequences when it comes to protesting for equal rights amongst all Americans.