An Analysis of Letter from a Birmingham Jail Essay

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Letter from a Birmingham Jail was written by Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. in April of 1963, as he sat, as the title states, in a Birmingham, Alabama jail. King had been jailed for his participation in a peaceful protest of segregation in public places such as lunch counters and public restrooms (Berkley, 2003). While jailed, King read a criticism of the protest by a group of white ministers, who felt such demonstrations “directed and in part led by outsiders” were “unwise and untimely”, suggesting that blacks should wait for the court system to work. (Statement by Alabama clergymen, 1963). Dr. King’s letter was written as a response to the criticism (King, 1963). The following pages will analyze Letter from a…show more content…
#Particularly poignant are his comments concerning children, where he says ##…when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; (King, 1963). ## Considering Dr. King is writing to clergymen, his emotional appeal may not have only been to elicit sympathy or empathy from his detractors, but cause some shame as well, when he expresses his disappointment with them. He indicates that because of their religious beliefs, they should be taking a proactive stance on the side of justice, rather than supporting the status quo because it is orderly (King, 1963). “Logical arguments consist of a set of premises or statements of evidence that lead to conclusions” (Kies, 1995). Dr King appeals to logic and reason
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