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Argumentation Teqniques Used in Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail

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“Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity (pg. 941).” In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and sent to jail for leading a peaceful march in Birmingham in which the city officials issued no parade permit. From the jail cell in Birmingham, Martin Luther King Jr. composed “Letter From Birmingham Jail” in response to the eight clergymen who had attacked his character and work for civil rights through the publication “A Call For Unity”, insisting he was an “outsider” influencing the actions of hatred and violence. Martin Luther King Jr. establishes himself as an authority in the eyes of his audience, shows the trials blacks encounter in America, justifies his…show more content…
936).” The purpose of direct action is to create a tension to open the door up for negotiation. If the government does not feel the pressure of change from the people, change is likely to be postponed and neglected.
King uses logos to counter argument the clergymen’s claim that the actions at Birmingham were untimely. For example, “All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry (pg. 941).” King counters that claim with the logic that time itself is neutral and can be used either destructively or constructively. It’s what we do in the time were given that is important. Martin Luther declares that the white power structure left the Black community with no alternative and logically describes the actions the Negro community took and the four basic steps of a nonviolent campaign: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action. He supports his claim saying that Negro leaders sought to negotiate with city fathers but they refused to engage in good-faith negotiation. Some merchants agreed to move their stores’ humiliating racial signs but they briefly remained unseen. As weeks
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