An Analysis of Letter from a Birmingham Jail Essay

1205 Words Oct 10th, 2013 5 Pages
Letter from Birmingham Jail was written by Martin Luther King Jr. As he states in the title, in a Birmingham, Alabama jail. Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed because he participated on a nonviolent protest of segregation in public places such as lunch counters and public restrooms. During his jail time, Martin Luther King Jr. read a criticism about a protest made by a group of white ministers, accusing King of being an outsider, of using extreme measures that incite hatred and violence, that his demonstrations were “unwise and untimely” and also suggesting that the racial issues should be “properly pursued in the courts”. In other words, they were suggesting that black people should not protest, but wait for the court system to work …show more content…
He establishes himself as a well-educated man with religious knowledge making references to both Jewish Old Testament prophets, the Apostle Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, Socrates, the United States Supreme Court and St Augustine, and also provides credence to his stance by citing examples and opinions from them.
Martin Luther King Jr’s emotional appeal begins with the very first sentence when he states, “While confined here in the Birmingham city jail”, and continues as he describes the real life of a black person in the south. Description that includes economic suppression, beating, lynching, and a routine that includes a constant fear that making a mistake might cost a life. His comments concerning children are profoundly moving where he says:
…when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Fun town is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people;

When Martin Luther King Jr. wrote to clergymen, his emotional appeal probably wasn’t only

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