Thursday, October 31, 2019

Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham jail Essay

Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham jail - Essay Example It was through bold and inspirational speeches that King established a reputation as a great orator. However, this also painted him a radical and subject to federal surveillance for the rest of his life. In addition, King is recognized for his phlegmatic way of approaching crisis as he advocated for the rights of all. Martin Luther King Jr represented the African-American community, but in essence, this translates to all minority communities who lived an oppressed life. This oppression came about following colonization and the slave trade where the rights of those perceived to a weak community were subjected to a wide range of discrimination. Segregation and discrimination with regard to race, gender and education were outlawed following advocacy for civil rights. This marks a critical step towards generating independence among communities. This clearly illustrates that even as King fought for the rights of African-Americans, the benefits would be felt across different communities bo th regionally and nationally. King mounted a challenge to oppression by defying the status quo, which eventually got support from other members of the community other than African-Americans. ... Martin Luther King is no exception as highlighted in most of his speeches and letters, particularly the letter from Birmingham jail, which is the subject of this paper. This paper seeks to illustrate the means of persuasion applied in King’s letter from Birmingham jail. In the wake of his struggles to advocate for equal civil rights, King was arrested for his participation in the Birmingham campaign in Alabama. The campaign was organised by King’s organisation, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which saw a series of peaceful demonstrations against segregation. It is following the protests that he was arrested and his actions criticised by clergymen who published a letter terming his actions as unwise. In their letter, the religious leaders disapproved the position taken to hold the demonstrations, which in their view, imposed immerse tension in Birmingham. They also disapproved the timing of the demonstrations since the courts had previously issued an injunc tion to prohibit civil marches in Birmingham streets. The letter from Birmingham jail was in response to the sentiments expressed by the clergymen and aimed at justifying the need for action against prevailing civil injustices. It is in this letter that King employs Aristotle's rhetoric modes of persuasion to counter argument his audience’s recount of events, which appeal to ethos, pathos and logos. In the letter, King defends his reputation and wisdom by illustrating the need for action, which is in line with ethos before trying to arouse the emotions of his audience. He finally presents testimony and quotations from important thinkers and leaders of the time while appealing to the audiences’ logic. The effective

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