Letter To Birminham Essay

1021 words - 5 pages

Martin Luther King Jr. was placed in jail after participating in the Birmingham campaign. At this time King was president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and his presence was requested by an Alabama group that wanted him to participate in a "nonviolent direct-action program" in Birmingham. King along with other member of his group agreed to go and participate. These nonviolent protests resulted in the participents being thrown into jail. While in jail, eight clergymen wrote in the paper staying blacks should not support for Martin Luther King Jr. and the other protestors. King replied to the clergymen a few days later with a letter and aimed towards the "white moderate" as ...view middle of the document...

" Due to the affiliations king had with various organizations he had been brought, along with others, to Birmingham. One of kings' affiliations was with the Alabama Christian Leadership Conference. In the clergymen's letter, it is said that they disapporved of the actions that the men displayed in Birminham. The clergymen percieved King and his people were not negotiating with the city as they had stated but rather they were acting out and disrupting the peace. However, the clergymen did not notice that The Alabama Christian Leadership Conference had previous accounts with the city in attempts to negotiate. These previous encounters resulted in no action at all being taken or the city making promises they did not keep. King's use of logic demonstrated the bias that the clergymen express by only showing one side of the facts.The people involved in the protests were forced into more drastic actions because negotiating was not working. Therefore protesting was the next solution to receive justice. In the letter King writes, "Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever." King put his argument within the same scholarly and religious rehlem as the clergy men in order to make it extremely difficult for them to dispute him. The language and literary devices specifically the rhetorical devices shows His use of language and rhetorical devices shows the clergyman’s incorrect views and statements regarding racial segregation. In writing this way king is able to write his letter not only to the eight clergymen but also the population as a whole because his letter is now more than just an argument with the clergymen.
King uses many historical figures in his letter one of which is Socrates and by doing that he now is able to associate with individuals whom are non religious. Socrates thought tht humans needed to have internal conflict so they could learn to make decisions about what was true and what has been made up. This allowed king to bring in non-religious aspects that supported his...

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