Also, in his letter his tone was strong, but neither violent nor threatening towards the clergymen. Similarly, King portrays a sense of concern for the clergymen and they ways in which they are willing to obtain the peaceful ends they seek. He senses the still-present fear of the white community in the letter of complaints from the clergymen. King was offended by how the clergymen only planned on addressing the African American community for their actions while letting the whites go on with their violent and oppressive actions. Dr. King fought his whole career for equality amongst the races, meaning all communities with violent, racist actions should be addressed.
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.
Jennifer Smith Prof Franco 3/26/2011 Engl 1213 Standing up One of the most known advocates for equality is Martin Luther King Jr. He’s had some of the most moving, convincing and change inducing speeches of all time. His “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is no exception. King wrote the letter from a Birmingham jail cell in April on 1963 following his arrest for public demonstration. In the beginning of the letter, King describes his reason for writing the letter as a response to the Clergymen’s statement calling his “present activities unwise and untimely. ” (King).
By this time, slavery is a very hotly debated issue in America, even eventually leading to the Civil War. Thoreau obviously takes the position against slavery and tries to use his writing to try and convince the citizens of America to stand up against slavery and the laws that protect it. Thoreau often writes of the injustice that the government displays towards its people. For example, Thoreau writes, “Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?” (184). Thoreau’s purpose is to convince the citizens of America to not follow the majority, but do what is felt to be morally right.
He creates an understanding of values, by referring to the early Christians, Apostle Paul, and even Christ. While defending his being in Birmingham he states, “…just as the Apostle Paul…carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners…so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.” He continues referring to their shared beliefs to further strengthen their common ground. After questioning the logic behind the clergy men’s statement pertaining to the non-violent protest precipitating violence King argues, “Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion?” King continually connects with his audience’s faith; he then begins targeting the religious leader’s deeper emotions. He begins to divulge on his personal experiences with the injustice of segregation. In the following quote he goes into detail why he cannot delay justice, “Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But… when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking, “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”.” King also goes into detail about his daughter not being able to go to Fun Town, it was closed to blacks, and how painful it was to see her eyes fill with tears.
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.
Martin Luther King Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail This is a letter from Martin Luther King Jr. to the clergymen in response to their claim in a local newspaper that his protesting was “unwise and untimely.” This is an attempt to defend himself and his fellow protesters. He begins by explaining why he was in Birmingham and states that he is not an outsider. He was invited by the president of the Christian Leadership Conference to be there.  He stressed on the issue of injustice in this area and said he must “carry the gospel of freedom” wherever it is needed like Paul did in the Bible. He continues to say that while the protests were unfortunate, it is even more unfortunate that the black community was left with no other alternative action.
Subject: The subject of this letter is to state the reason he is in Birmingham for trying to change segregation as social justice and his use of civil disobedience as an instrument of freedom. Occasion: Dr. King is writing this letter from inside Birmingham Jail for being accused of misuse of the law by performing in acts of civil disobedience to show his disappointment at the leadership of the clergy and laws that he and others of the black community deem as unjust. Audience: Although this letter was initially mailed to the eight white clergymen who publicly asked the black community to restrict their Birmingham demonstrations, King meant for his message to reach a much larger audience such as U.S. citizens. King used this letter as
1. In the opening paragraph, King’s tone can be described as formal, ironic, and sarcastic because he is defending his actions against those he describes as ‘men of genuine goodwill’ and sincere. He further supports his ironic tone by mentioning his secretaries. Because this letter was written from a jail cell, King obviously did not have any secretaries. However, he mentions them in order to imply that he does get a lot of criticism and is taking particular care to address the specific concerns of the clergymen.
In order to reach this desired goal that they have been awaiting, strategies were much needed. Clearly divided, the two strategies acted upon violent and non violent. Martin Luther King, Jr., an advocate for non violence,