Letter From A Birmingham Jail By Martin Luther King Jr

Decent Essays
Human Rights Activist, Martin Luther King Jr, in his letter, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, writes to the public, justifying his actions against segregation. King’s purpose is to convey the idea that segregation is morally wrong in all senses. He displays a disciplined, yet exasperated manner while referencing historical and biblical events, to show society how segregation is inhuman.
King begins his letter to the clergymen of Birmingham by comparing his actions to that of biblical figures, seeking social justice. He appeals to the audience’s religious beliefs by paralleling the actions taken place. Stating “Just as the prophets of the eight century B.C. left their villages and carried their ‘thus saith the Lord’ far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarus 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.” He furthermore clarifies that with a nonviolent social tension, the discrimination will be brought into full view of society. He demonstrates this by stating, “Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind
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