Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

Decent Essays
Perhaps the reason Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is so well known even to this day is because it is a model of persuasive writing that makes great use of ethos, logos, and pathos in order to aid the readers in understanding and sympathizing with King and his followers. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was a civil rights leader, who was arrested and put in jail after being part of the Birmingham campaign in April 1963. He was the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was asked by an Alabama group to come to Birmingham. A city that at the time was known for still participating heavily in segregation even though the supreme court had ruled against it in 1954 (Brown V. Board of Education 1). King and members of his organization joined The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and organized a non-violent protest against racial segregation. Everyone involved in the protest was arrested including Dr. King. While King was in jail eight white clergy men released a public statement that was published in a Birmingham news paper, titled “a call to unity” which addressed the protests that king led and described his activities as “unwise and untimely”. King’s response to this statement was “The Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, in which he also tried to open the eyes and minds of the average middle class white American.
The letter starts off with Dr. King setting the tone by informing the readers that he wants to respond to the letter and
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