The Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Often times it is said that “History repeats itself.” Never before has the struggle for equal rights and dignities amongst marginalized groups born such a resemblance to those waged in the name of equality in the past. Martin Luther King, Jr., an activist and leader for the Civil Rights Movement, drafted a powerful letter from the Birmingham Jail where he was imprisoned as a participant in nonviolent demonstrations against segregation. The letter was intended to be a response to a public statement of concern and caution given by eight white religious leaders of the South. The author’s purpose for writing the letter was to explain the reasoning for participating in nonviolent demonstrations, as well as to assert the claim that justice is deserved within a society that has long been riddled with injustice. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. quest for understanding becomes apparent in his letter, as he uses pathos and references in order to appeal to his audience’s empathy, by providing an in-depth perspective into what prejudices he and other African-Americans faced in their daily lives. The author continues to implement references, specifically in regards to racism, throughout his piece in order to provide examples of discrimination. In King’s letter, he illustrates the constant promises he and others are made that continually end up being broken: “In these negotiating sessions certain promises were made by the merchants, such as the promise to remove the humiliating racial signs
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