Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail Essay

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Power Analysis: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail A statement from eight white clergymen from Alabama prompted Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail”. This statement criticized Kings actions of non-violent protests against racial segregation and the injustice of unequal civil rights in America (Carpenter elt al.). The eight clergymen considered Birmingham to be “their” town and King was disrupting the “Law and Order and Common Sense” established in coping with racial issues in Alabama during this time (Carpenter elt al. par 1). These clergymen considered King an “outsider” and describe his actions as “unwise and untimely” (Carpenter elt al. par 3). This statement suggests that there is an appropriate time…show more content…
Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s letter was influential in inspiring and ultimately altering societal attitude on racial issues. He used a creative use of language that addresses any plausible audience including: the clergymen, the religious moderates, the equal rights supporters and the oppressed black community. The use of famous icons, religious leaders, and traditional scholars as references provided a multitude of examples that clearly illustrated King’s key points. Moreover, King carefully analyzed the duplicity of racial segregation through examples of “civil disobedience” among important historical icons valued in society (King par 21). In doing this King is able to utilize Luke’s, three-dimensional approach and tilt the power dynamic in his favor. It is Luke’s political strategy that helps King to create the desired power shift. His approach forces his audience to look beyond the surface (one-dimensional view), into the First-Amendment rights to protest (second-dimensional view), and further into the behavior that oppresses and segregates the black community (third-dimensional view) (Lukes). King creates parallels and invokes images that are familiar to his audience. In particular, in aims these images to the White Anglo Saxon society by creating the awareness of their hypocrisy. King uses the examples of Shadrach, Meschack and Abendego, who
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