Analysis of "The letter from Birmingham Jail"

Topics: Racism, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Law, Race, White people, Appeal to emotion / Pages: 4 (1000 words) / Published: Mar 14th, 2014
[Student’s Name] K.C524

Analysis of “The Letter from Birmingham Jail”

On April 3rd, 1963, the Birmingham campaign began and people were protesting against racism and injustice. The non-violent campaign was coordinated by King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. However, King was roughly arrested with other main leaders of the campaign on April 12th for disobeying the rules of “no parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing and picketing”. While jailed, King read a letter (“A call for unity”) written by eight white Alabama clergymen against King and his methods from the newspaper. In the letter, the clergymen stated that the campaign were "directed and led in part by outsiders," urging activists to use the courts if rights were being denied rather than to protest. The letter provoked King and “the Letter from Birmingham jail” was a written response to the white clergy men and to defend the strategy of non-violent protesting. Throughout the letter, King used many stylistic writing elements and effective emotional appealing to make people want to join his case.

His emotional appealing begins when he stated: “The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.” And his emotional appealing continues and gets more effective when he describes the suffering life of black people who are suffering from racism and injustice:” when you take a country-cross drive and found it necessary to sleep night after night in the corner of automobile because no hotel would accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading ‘white’ and ‘colored’”. This makes people want to join his case and makes his followers more determinate about protesting against racial injustice. His emotional appealing not only causing sympathy among audience for

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