Why King's 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' Resounds throughout American History?
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Standing the Test of Time: Why King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Resounds Throughout American History
Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a direct response to "A Call for Unity," a letter penned by eight Alabama clergymen including one rabbi. In "A Call for Unity," the eight clergymen decry the peaceful protests organized by Dr. King and his fellow civil rights activists. The clergymen claim that the protests are "unwise and untimely." In his response written from jail, Dr. King outlines all the reasons why the peaceful protests are both wise and timely, for, in his words, "we have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights." There is a clear reason why Dr. King's legacy remains strong, whereas the clergymen's misguided letter has fallen into history's dustbin. Because King writes with skillful logic, appeals to his reader's ethics, and proves his credibility as a political leader, "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a more effective argument.
King writes with a deft sense of logic and organization, which distinguishes him from his fellow clergymen. The letter from the clergymen is shorter than the King letter, showing that the clergymen seemed not to take the time to back up their statements. Twice, the clergymen state that the African-American community should use the judicial system to air grievances rather than use the Constitutionally protected right to organize peaceful political demonstrations. For example, in