Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis

1283 Words 6 Pages
Austin Southers
Professor Case
Eng 124.06
5 October 2016
Segregation Law
While in Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr writes a letter response to a public statement, wrote by white religious leaders in the south. In this letter that, Mr. King writes, he hits the topic of discrimination and segregation opposed on the African American community. Because of the leadership role that Martin Luther King was portraying, this led to him being arrested and brought to Birmingham Jail. This is where King begins to write his letter calling out segregation issues by using the rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos.
First, some initial background information about Martin Luther King. MLk comes from a long line of southern Baptists, where his
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King writes, “you may well ask, “why direct action, why sit-ins, marches, and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’’ You are exactly in calling for negotiation.” (2). King explains that the reasoning for this is to not have a negotiation but to make it look as if it was a crisis. By having marches and sit-ins, King is explaining by doing these actions it will bring awareness to the people. King has written and preached on this topic, giving him experience credibility on this issue.
King uses a logos appeal in his letter to persuade the readers that the protesters and himself had a valid reason to be protesting. King wrote, “So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.” (1). King is saying that he and his staff had to reason to be in Birmingham, Alabama for the civil rights protest. Through this statement, King is trying to grab the appeal of the reader by writing that he had a right to be protesting in Birmingham. King Talks about having peaceful protest throughout his Letter from Birmingham
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King addresses the worry of the authority when he writes, “You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern.’’ (2). King here gives a non-bias statement about the worries that the authorities might have about protester breaking laws through their protest. Also, this could possibly be considered a bit of sarcasm from Mr.King, because his protest has always been a non-violent protest. King’s statement about the anxiety of the authority in Birmingham is a tremendous way to Turn their worry into a

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