Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

The pressure of racial partition was reaching a boiling point in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. After being arrested for his part in the Birmingham Campaign, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

wrote an open letter in action to “A Require Unity”, written by 8 white clergymen from Birmingham. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Prison” is a real call for unity, as he plainly mentions and explains facts that the clergymen have actually left out from their letter. King is plainly not looking to stir the fire of partition; he was simply wanting to resolve the circumstance at hand and attempting to peacefully end racial segregation in the United States. A Require Unity”, written in early April 1963 (Jonathan, 12-18). Discussion After years of partition and inequality, one guy stood up and defended what was right. This man mentioned dreams and for what he felt as ethically ideal, morally right, legally right and emotionally best.

This man spoke of flexibility, brotherhood and equality among all individuals, no matter what race they were. He came up with truths and emotions to America that was being felt by the black neighborhood, which was being dealt with so severely. This male was Martin Luther King Jr. a clergyman and civil rights leader, who later was awarded the Nobel Peace Reward for his work. King opened the eyes of America to a more comprehensive sense of understanding, to a broader view of the inequality and hate that practically every black individual had to endure at that time. After a number of tranquil demonstrations King was apprehended for demonstrating in defiance of a court order, by participating in a parade, he was then required to Birmingham prison (Leff & & Utley, 8-9). There in the prison, King wrote a letter to 8 fellow clergymen in response to a letter they released in a newspaper.

King explained in the letter why he did the important things he did, and why that needed to be done the manner in which they were. King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” was written on April 16, 1963. 8 Alabama clergyman composed an open letter that questioned King’s techniques and suggested that he use the court system as a method for change. King’s letter was a reply that was meant to respond to the clergymen and spread his beliefs (KaaVonia, 10-15). In his letter, he reacts to a few of his criticisms, such as his presentations, direct action, and his timing.

He, then, discusses his motives for acting, and why they were justified. Argument about “Justice and injustice” His attitude in the letter modifications, at the beginning he is submissive to the clergy’s criticism; at the end he starts to criticize the clergy. This letter was symbolic of a movement, and all the injustices it dealt with. King uses rhetoric by manipulating language and attracting the feelings of the reader. In Martin Luther King Jr’s “A Letter from Birmingham Prison” addresses eight white clergymen from Birmingham, Alabama, clearly mentions 8 arguments.

King uses epigrams as a device to make sure the reader still comprehends his message. In the beginning paragraphs, King specifies what brought him to Birmingham and why he is warranted in existing. In his argument he mentions Apostle Paul, and supplies dull accurate operational details about the Southern Christian Management Conference. Even if the reader does not know who Paul is or appreciate the SCLC, he can still understand King’s message since of the epigrams he utilizes (Baldwin & & Burrow, 111-118). In summing up what brought him here King says, “Injustice anywhere is a hazard to justice all over”.

In addressing why he is justified in remaining in Birmingham, King says, “Anybody who resides in the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in the nation” (King, 122-128). Now the reader understands through using epigrams that King was brought there due to the fact that there is oppression in Birmingham which he has a right to be in Birmingham due to the fact that he is an American and Birmingham is an American City. Blacks are going through a truly bumpy ride during this Negro transformation in 1963 and Dr. King highlights the point by the use of strong diction, which set the tone of the letter.

For instance, Dr. King elucidates the factor his people can’t await their rights which’s since “hate-filled cops curse, kick, brutalize, and even eliminate” his “black brothers and sisters” and that basically most white individuals torment them any opportunity they get. In the letter composed by the clergyman they state (like it was something brand-new), that they were now facing demonstrations led by outsiders (King). Religious appeals in King’s latter King wants them to understand that he is not actually an outsider however the president of The Southern Christian Management Conference with an affiliation in Birmingham.

He wants to explain that he not only has organizational ties however also was welcomed to participate in the direct action program in Birmingham in assistance of desegregation. In the course of the letter, King utilizes philosophical, spiritual and historical examples to get his points throughout. In order to get control of the reader Martin Luther King Jr. includes brilliant images of harsh acts that African Americans in Birmingham withstood. Worrying this unsettling time in society King could have explained a lot of the unethical and unjustified acts that he experienced every day.

Instead he portrayed these circumstances by asking rhetorical questions about ladies, kids and loved ones bringing the challenges Negroes dealt with into the lives of men of all cultures. It does not matter if you are black, if you are white, if you are Asian, if you are Hispanic, or if you are a mix of any race, through King’s words you could envision yourself in any of the scenarios he explains. With the capability to touch the reader on not just a personal level, however also an intimate one Martin Luther King Jr. started to bridge the space between the races (Jessica, 222-225). King consistently raised the point of morality.

Mentioning that particular things are moral and other things aren’t. For example King talked about having 2 various drinking fountains or having blacks sit at the back of the bus, saying that it just wasn’t ethically best. And that ethically best would be to have unity and brotherhood among all individuals. King tries to show the distinction in between simply and unjust laws, it is because of these two terms that we can “promote breaking some laws, and obeying others” (King, 122-128). Partition in his eyes is and unjustified law because it “disrupts the soul and harms the personality” (King, 122-128).

These are both certifications of an unjustified law. Society today is filled with unfair laws. In numerous schools females are still restricted from joining a football team, since the school thinks they do not have what it takes. By not permitting this individual to sign up with the group they are taking away a part of her character, a piece of who she is and denying her to express it. King also talks about another viewpoint of simply and unjustified laws. He explains that an unfair law is made up by a bulk of people whom force a minority to follow this law; nevertheless the law is not “binding” on themselves.

A simply law is one that a majority makes and is also happy to follow themselves. Hence showing that is the only reasonable law is one that impacts all citizens in an equally simply way. King specifies how the Apostle Paul carried the gospel of Jesus Christ over the land, and therefore compares himself to him. One way King addresses the eight clergymen and justifies his presence in Birmingham is by comparing himself to the Apostle Paul. He is trying to take the gospel of flexibility over the land of America. This idea connects to individuals feeling due to the fact that many people are religious and believe in God and Jesus Christ.

By Comparing himself to the Apostle Paul strikes deep feeling in the majority of people, and nearly stating that he is attempting to do the work of God by trying to attain real freedom, this analogy is a great example of pathos and King’s usage of these appeals to the feeling through examples and metaphorical language (Carson, Holloran, Luker, Russell & & King, 10-15). King uses pathos not just from the Bible however likewise by evolving concepts from The second world war: “We should always remember that everything Adolf Hitler performed in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters carried out in Hungary was “unlawful”.

It was “prohibited” to help and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have assisted and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I resided in a Communist nation where specific principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would honestly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws” (King, 122-128). Here King describes all the terrible laws that Hitler created in Germany before The Second World War. He cites how, “It was illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.

He is utilizing this example to compare Germany’s laws versus Jews to “separate however equal” law of the time versus black individuals (Jessica, 222-225). Producing values is a way for an author to get the trust of the reader. It can be used to show the efficiency of one’s writing the writer’s trustworthiness. King illustrates this quality of ethos when he discusses his professional titles: “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a company operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

We have some eighty-five associated companies across the South, and among them is the Alabama Christian movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, instructional, and funds with our affiliates” (King, 122-128). Here King shows his trustworthiness by citing what his organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which remains in every southern state, does (Baldwin & & Burrow, 111-118). In Addition, Martin Luther King describes to the clergymen in the letter that they have actually been disinformed on the scenario and that not all is alright.

King estimates the clergymen’s original letter which commended the Birmingham cops for their terrific efforts in keeping order and preventing violence, King is quick to remedy them that they would have not commended the police force if they viewed the gruesome violence which occurred that day firsthand. King concludes the paragraph with. “I can not join you in your appreciation of the Birmingham police department” (King, 122-128). This declaration comes off as an extremely vibrant declaration to the clergymen after reading the details of the violence previously.

Paragraph fourteen of King’s latter In paragraph fourteen he utilizes emotional recommendation when he states “when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and bros at impulse” (King, 122-128), he does not call them Negro, so that the audience might connect to them. He wants them to understand how a black guy feels always feeling like nobody and being afraid. In the next 9 paragraphs he explains in detail the difference between a just law and an unjustified law.

This time he uses spiritual leaders such as St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, Martin Buber and Paul Tillich as examples to get his idea throughout. He states that “a simply law is a man made code that squares with the ethical law or the law of God” (King, 122-128). In paragraph 23, he begins to criticize the white moderates “Individuals who say they concur with segregation however do not desire the Negro individuals to show due to the fact that they wear t want their lives interrupted” (King, 122-128).

King says that these people are worst than the Ku Klux Klan and other individuals of ill will, because of their shallow understanding (King & & King, 45-48 ). Finally, King provides an excellent insight for the uninformed in his letter from jail. King states that he wanted that the clergymen had in fact realized who the genuine heroes were that day. King had actually received a letter from a white guy from Texas stating that he will reach his equivalent rights ultimately but that maybe he remains in too much of a religious hurry.

King mentions that time are not the cure to all maladies, which his individuals need to utilize their time better than the people of ill will. King appears to have a perfect action to all arguments tossed at him, but none seem flawed naturally. There was no other way for the black community to get their point across due to the fact that they were not being listened. There is no point in this letter where King prompts violence, if anything he entirely versus it and will stop at nothing to ensure that there disappears violence (Leff & & Utley, 8-9). Letter from Birmingham Jail” is among the most touching pieces of composing. All of Kings Arguments work, especially in paragraph fourteen. This letter at times can be hard to check out because King gives reality examples of what it is in fact like to be black and living in the 60s south.

This letter sparks an awareness, which individuals have never recognized before reading this, this latter showing the dreadful and disgraceful treatment of the black community. Conclusion “A Letter from Birmingham Prison” was an opportunity for Martin Luther King Jr. o express to the general public his views and the views of other African Americans throughout the South. The effects of King’s experiences depicted by his usage of language led to radical changes for African Americans throughout the country. It was a bigger victory to sway the Alabama clergymen than to alter the mind of a persistent group of white males, due to the fact that it proved that the normal southern white male is equal in every method shape and type to that of an African American. Martin Luther King Jr. As soon as said, “I have a dream” and dream he did.

You Might Also Like