An Analysis of Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Topics: Civil disobedience, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 3 (1204 words) Published: October 18, 2013
Letter from Birmingham Jail was written by Martin Luther King Jr. As he states in the title, in a Birmingham, Alabama jail. Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed because he participated on a nonviolent protest of segregation in public places such as lunch counters and public restrooms. During his jail time, Martin Luther King Jr. read a criticism about a protest made by a group of white ministers, accusing King of being an outsider, of using extreme measures that incite hatred and violence, that his demonstrations were “unwise and untimely” and also suggesting that the racial issues should be “properly pursued in the courts”. In other words, they were suggesting that black people should not protest, but wait for the court system to work instead. (Statement by Alabama Clergymen, 16 April 1963). Four days later, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter in response to the criticism seeking to lessen the aggression of white citizens toward African Americans and also revitalize the passion for nonviolent protests in the minds of the African American. His caution statement “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” it’s a good definition of how justice should be… In other words injustice shouldn’t be anywhere and people shouldn’t be separated by race or skin color. Wherever there is a lack of justice there will always be abuse, neglect and oppression towards those unable and unwilling to defend themselves. Consequently, justice is fundamental to create a foundation for a better society. The following paragraphs analyze from a rhetorical standpoint the Letter from Birmingham Jail, by using the concepts of pathos, logos and ethos to determine the reason why Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter continues to be studied today. Martin Luther King Jr. established his credibility at the beginning and maintains it throughout the whole letter by addressing as “fellow clergymen”, he puts himself as equal. Then he establishes his right to be in Birmingham by identifying himself as...
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