Letter from Birmingham Jail

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Letter from Birmingham Jail Pages: 2 (370 words) Published: March 12, 2013
Letter from Birmingham Jail is an open letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. on April 16, 1963 from Birmingham jail.Where he was confined for his part in the Biringham campaign.Birmingham campaign was a planned,non-violent protest campaign against racial segregation in Birmingham.It has been known since time immemorial that people seeking social justice have used various rhetorical strategies appealing to their opponents.

In this letter MLK jr. has appealed to the Aristotelian persuasive strategies that appeal to the Ethos-which means convincing readers on the basis of his own credibility,Pathos means appealing to the emotion and Logos means persuading people based upon logical explanations. He therefore proceeds with his argument with the intention of proving to his opponents he has sufficient authority to make the civil rights cause on behalf of his community. he first example that illustrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s use of this strategy is present in the second paragraph of his letter: "I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference". Thus, he reminds his interlocutors of his position of leadership in the religious community. This allows him to stand in the case of equal qualifications with the eight clergymen. Furthermore, in the third paragraph, he states, "Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid." Consequently, he contends he is a prophet for freedom like Paul, but also like Jesus in the same paragraph. This provides him with the highest level of authority in the religious field. He suggests he has the support of God to wage his war against injustice.

Therefore, since God has chosen him, it implies he is of higher moral standards. Finally, in the fourth paragraph, he advances "Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states." Martin Luther King, Jr. wants to remind his readers of his belonging to the assembly of the enlightened citizens....
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