Essay about Why We Can 't Wait, Martin Luther King, Jr.

821 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 4 Pages
In the introduction to his book, Why We Can’t Wait, Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights activist and minister, explains to all Americans why blacks can no longer put off the fight for their civil rights. He uses a narrative structure to achieve this purpose, setting two black children in opposite ends of the country in similar circumstances. Employing imagery, King explains the lack of opportunity and poverty of these children, representative of all African Americans. Additionally, he uses these children to describe the impact of black people in building America, contrasting it with the injustices they are facing. King concludes with a strong call for action, with hopes to further mobilize Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. King uses a narrative structure as a vehicle for his imagery, highlighting the poverty and lack of opportunity of the two black children he focuses on. The boy in Harlem lives in impoverished conditions emphasized by King’s imagery. His apartment is “vermin infested” with “the stench of garbage in the halls.” King notes that “the drunks, the jobless, the junkies are shadow figures of his everyday world.” Likewise, the Birmingham girl’s poverty is accentuated by rich imagery- “she I sitting on the stoop of a rickety wooden one-family house… Some visitors would call it a shack.” It needs paint and the patched roof is barely held together. Both sets of images show King’s audience the reality of an African American’s life. These children…

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