English 111 (Red)
October 7, 2013
1.) Martin Luther King wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” from a jail cell in Alabama in April of 1963, hence the title. He was arrested for leading a non-violent protest against the discriminatory Jim Crow laws. These laws separated facilities between Blacks and Whites such as restaurants, schools, lodging, public facilities and many more. The Jim Crow laws brought about one of the famous staples of racial oppression in America, Separate but Equal.
2.) In much of King’s work, he uses biblical allusions to capture the attention of the viewer/reader. “Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond their boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.”(336). This use of biblical allusions is present in a great deal of King’s works because it does achieve what King intends it to; it captivates the audience and usually makes one consider how religious they really are compared how they may act on Sundays or when they are in the presence of a church.
3.) Nonviolent direct action is the process of a mass amount of people in most cases, whom do not use violence to achieve their goals. This has been seen many times in the U.S. from the Montgomery Bus Boycott to anti-Vietnam protests. King says that “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.” (339.)
4.) King uses examples of Logos, Pathos, and Ethos throughout “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” In the second paragraph King writes about his ethics. He discusses his role as president of...
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