This was great rhetoric. King plays on Americans’ patriotism when he says, “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.” He makes it seem that those who are segregationists are backward people. Another great argument he makes is by showing the brutality African Americans must undergo. He says, “But when you have seen vicious mob s lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters…then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.” (King 47-48) King’s great arguments make it nearly impossible to ask African Americans to wait.
People are often judged according to the color of their skin. This judging of another person is often negative and is known as racism. America is known as the melting pot with all kinds of race living there. It is clear that no matter how big a melting pot, it can not contain all race mixed together. As a black man, King witnessed and experienced racism during the segregation period. People were "haunted by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro" shows that black people were being discriminated.(186) This judging and disrespect caused people like King to see that "justice too long delayed is justice denied"(185). Therefore, King uses his freedom to fight for justice. Fighting for justice in civil right for all black people is like Jefferson fighting for independence. If Jefferson compared King of Britain to be a tyrant, then America can also be seen as a tyrant over black people.
Dr. King's effort to make non-violent campaign and to end racial segregation led Negroes to protest together for equal rights. Appeal of emotions in letter the King use have shown anger and sadness from broken promise and injustice law. The King clearly stated that disease of segregation will never end after all suffer, “For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”(King 275).
King belabors the point made on the struggles of colored people; he lists specific examples that highlight the overarching point of this paragraph. He establishes a candid, impassioned tone that allows the reader,
The primary purpose of Dr. King’s eloquent and dramatically delivered speech is that of persuasion. King’s claim is the Negro people are still not free one hundred years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. This warrant is supported by King’s effective emotional appeal to his African American audience. He supports this with the following: "but one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.” This is emotional because after one hundred years of oppression, the African American community has still not achieved their cultural and economic potential according to King. He is endeavoring to persuade his audience, fellow minorities and
This assertion sets this moment into the greater scheme of African American history. At this moment, the American Negro is ready to fight for the rights with which God has endowed him, King says. In this moment, American Negroes hopes are high that he may be considered an equal to his white neighbor and rid himself of the burden of not being enough, a condition detrimental to the psyche. This contributes to King’s argument that it is time for everybody who believes that these natural rights should be granted to black Americans, to unite and start the fight to win them.
Through life’s phases, many develop perfunctory habits. Many start to lose that site of creativity and enthusiasm that can bring forth positive results. However, this is not the case for everyone when their republic is funded on principles of faith, liberty, and justice. It is not the case when an individual knows he is equally as good as his companions without the comparison of skin color. Frederick Douglass’ speech titled, “What the Black Man Wants” and the speech of Ralph J. Bunche titled, “The Barriers of Race Can be Surmounted” are 84 years apart. However, both display a few of the same philosophies that can even be found in today’s modern speeches. Both speeches understand the African-American affliction/disadvantage, lack of knowledge
Throughout the whole speech there is a message of togetherness and brotherhood. King was not talking about black togetherness. He was talking about everyone in the world coming together to improve themselves and their surrounding environment. A few people finally began to realize that togetherness was needed to accomplish their goals. Some black people along with some white people began to join hands, voices, and souls to fight for the rights that every human being deserved.
That leads into King talking about how the time is now. The time to make a difference. The time to give every person the basic civil rights that they should deserve. He states, “Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood” (King 260). He then brings it all back to Birmingham, Alabama. King tells his audience that he sees “two opposing forces in the Negro community” (261). He describes those two opposing forces as being one that is made up of those who are “so drained of self-respect” that they have gotten used to the segregation (King 261). The other force is one that is made up of “bitterness and hatred” that is found in “Black Nationalist groups” (King 261). King doesn’t want there to be two opposing forces. He wants to enforce the idea that there is a more peaceful and nonviolent way to resolve their issues
Secondly within the text King challenges the system that has been forced upon African Americans. Going back the the concept of segregation. It was designed to systematically keep the African American community oppressed without the community knowing it or the government directly stating it. The White lawmakers tried with all their power to keep the African American community powerless and have a sense of inferiority. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged those who tried to enforce this ideology by speaking against it despite the danger. He spoke out against these racist laws in the quote “A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.” (92, King) Within this quote he speaks against the unfair laws that affected African Americans but they were not able to vote on. It is incredibly unfair and unconstitutional to deny someone the right to vote let alone create a law affecting a specific race without letting
Some may have viewed Dr. King's speech as threatening when he tells us "it would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro." Then goes on to tell us that we are in for a "rude awakening" if changes do not occur. Using the culture in 1963 Dr. King hinted at revolution but turned his words towards peace. The answer to gaining equality and freedom did not include "bitterness and hatred." As Dr. King speaks of the injustices he also speaks of trust and unity as one answer to the issues at hand. Dr. King is clear in his instruction to the audience by telling them that the only way for the Negro to succeed is through non-violence and faith that there will be a change in culture that would allow equal justice
Dr. King begins by giving a recount of the events that brought him to Birmingham and the injustice that lead to their demonstrations. He then addresses common critiques of their campaign, answering them through logical arguments, as well as empathic appeals. The latter half of the piece deviates in that it aims not to justify their actions, but to shame everyone who doesn’t support their cause. Rather ironically, yet strategically, he expresses disappointment in “the white moderate” (pg.3), who he describes as: “more devoted to order than to justice” (pg.3). In addition to “the white moderate”, he calls out the clergymen, and “the white church”, for ignoring and even at times opposing their cause. Finally to conclude his letter, he prophecies the inevitable end of segregation “One
King knew that many would criticize his actions, but it wasn't until his fellow clergymen deemed his activities to be "unwise and untimely" that King felt compelled to provide his point of view (1). In response to the comment about his protests being untimely, King passionately responded, "We have waited more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights" (2). How long is long enough? For the oppressors, there will never be a suitable time for negotiation. People will always stand idly by while their negro brothers and sisters are mistreated because they merely desire to maintain the status quo. Change is frightening. In Dr. King's words, "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue" (2). Discussions that would have never been considered in the past were at last coming to fruition due to King's tension generating protests. The African American population will be denied their constitutional rights no
History is indisputably dense with revolts and uprisings against forms of oppression and injustices. Whatever the reason for the insurrection, it was likely violent and involved someone’s overthrow, possibly accompanied by their death. In staunch contrast to any rebellion, Dr. King advocated and led a revolt of peace against segregation of blacks and whites, specifically in the American south. In the troubled American civil rights era, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. conveyed to the world that when one recognizes unjust law based on moral conscience, resists peacefully, and replaces it with love and just moral law, their civil disobedience results in a better society.
King envisaged the following developments in America for a better future for the Negroes. He felt that all men were created equal by God. In future the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners would sit at the table of brotherhood. There would be freedom and justice. Their children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of character. Similarly the boys and girls of whites would hold the hands of the boys and girls of Negroes.