Letter from Birmingham Jail

Topics: United States, Nonviolence, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 3 (1127 words) Published: December 1, 2013
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. This is the pledge of the American people; however, only fifty years ago America was not living in accordance to this pledge. The year is 1963, and while many Americans are placing their right hands over their hearts and reciting this pledge the country stood divided by the color of an individual’s skin. Martin Luther King JR. was one American who believed in this pledge and made it his mission in life to see to it that indivisible, and justice for all was not only a nice theory, but ultimately a true reality. King was often criticized and even jailed in his pursuit for equality for all Americans. While being detained in a Birmingham jail King wrote a poetic response to an article written by some Southern clergymen explaining what led up to him being arrested and put in jail. In his powerful response King illustrates his credibility, appeals to the emotions of the clergymen, and supports his stance with logical reasons. Also through the use of logical, ethical, and emotional appeals King is able to illustrate his point of view to the clergymen.

In Kings letter to the clergymen, King establishes credibility with the clergymen by using various techniques. One way King creates credibility is by identifying with the reader. King starts his letter by addressing “My Dear fellow clergymen” (King 241). By addressing the clergymen as fellow clergymen King establishes a common ground with the men, and states that they all share in the same position. Another way King establishes credibility is by informing the clergymen of his title in society. King states “I have the honor of serving as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” (King 241). By informing the clergymen of his position as president King demonstrates to the clergymen that he is looked up to, and well respected...
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