Compare Letter from Birmingham Jail and a More Perfect Union

Topics: African American, Black people, United States Pages: 2 (648 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Xavier S

Throughout history, we see our leaders discuss issues with us through speeches. It ranges from a presidential speech to a community leader’s speech. The writings of the speech can be reflecting, reporting, explaining, or arguing. The primary goal is usually persuasion. In “Letter From Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. and “A More Perfect Union” by Barack Obama, both authors acknowledge that the African American community has suffered even with the abolish of slavery.

Dr. King discusses being confined in Birmingham Jail. He was arrested for participating in a nonviolent protest concerning segregation in businesses. The simple reason he is in Birmingham is because injustice is here(289). He goes on to mention that the most segregated city in the country is Birmingham. The city is known for the brutality against the African American community. There have been numerous bombing in black homes and churches that are a mystery (290).

Obama discusses the struggle and hardships of the black community. Although being black, he had the opportunity of education. This opportunity did not spread throughout the black community. Obama reminds us of the Brown vs. Board of Education case. The case is about racial segregation in schools. The difference of achievement in black and white students is because of segregated schools still being in existence. Black students had lower quality education than that of white students (308).

Although touching on the same topic, both letters are very different. King has an argumentative tone while Obama has more of a reflecting tone. Obama begins reflection on the signing of the Constitution and King argues about injustice by his very sentencing in Birmingham. Unlike King, Obama discusses the anger of white people. Obama says, “In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their...
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