Martin Luther King’s (Mlk) “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Argument Analysis

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Kyle McCrite Ms. Vaughn English 102-01 14 September 2009 Someone Else’s Shoes Martin Luther King’s (MLK) “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” was written in 1963 as a response to the Eight Alabama Clergymen’s public statement against King’s actions in April of that year. Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist for desegregation of the south in the early 1960s and overcame much adversity to attain incredible gains on the segregation issue in the United States. King uses effective persuasive appeals of logical evidence, emotional appeal, and author credibility to win over his audience in “The Letter from Birmingham Jail.” MLK’s writing shows the effects of segregation in Birmingham with clear direct language and heart wrenching examples.…show more content…
King brings in the question, what is a just and unjust law? A just law is one that promotes good morals and is followed by both the majority as well as the minority of society. Martin Luther King Jr. defines an unjust law as: A human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law… Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality (658). MLK even covers the fact that some laws are just on the surface, but unjust in how they are enforced. The example of his imprisonment proves this statement. He was arrested for parading without a permit, but this is an unjust law because it promotes segregation and denies basic constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly (659). He uses these soulful explanations of just and unjust laws trying to appeal to his readers’ emotions, though the notion of just and unjust laws may seem logical to them as well. Just and unjust laws may be considered logical evidence as well as emotional, but Martin Luther King Jr. uses a few much better logical examples to convince the audience to see his point of view. His logical examples of moral wrongdoings include strong emotion and cold harsh facts. Birmingham’s history of cruel segregation is well known and possibly the most segregated city in the United States. There were more “unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in

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