Humanitarian / Literature Essay


Rhetorical Analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail

Rhetorical analysis of "Letter from Birmingham Jail".

"The letter from Birmingham jail" was written by Martin Luther King, Jr, an astute freedom fighter of the black American populace, in 1963 following a demonstration, he culled as urgent in Birmingham, a highly segregated place.

The efforts of such activists of the status quo can never be forgotten since the black populace is now eons ahead in society. From independence, Negroes in America struggled to survive in a segregated society that had little regard for their lives. On such tenets it seemed incorrigible and a thing that would inevitably fuse into normality.

However, as posterity began to maintain various stances on the lackadaisical white populace of America, things began to change for the better. When black history month is celebrated, the mementos of black rights activists are celebrated. The stories of these fellows are reported in sterling ways. Their struggles, their achievements and everything that encompassed their lives.

In the spring of 1963, Martin Luther King organized a demonstration at Birmingham. Unfortunately, though peaceful, police released dogs and hoses at the demonstrators, after which King Jr with the vast majority of supporters was arrested. The following events had a letter from his clergy berating him of putting at-risk children and the families who pursued his steps. King Jr. highlighted his ordeals in Birmingham from a roach-infested cell with a letter explaining why he participated in such to his fellow clergymen, who dispelled him as an extremist. This letter is the infamous letter from Birmingham jail.

In the letter from Birmingham jail, he begins his answer, in which his clergymen viewed his presence in jail as unwarranted, by interrogating his disposal as a compelled activist whose compulsion lies in dismantling segregation and discriminatory policies in Birmingham. His reason culled its roots from the treatment of black folks in the area since Birmingham was "probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States.” Therefore, seeking for a nonviolent demonstration where negotiation failed woefully.

In his undertaking, Martin Luther King, jr felt "compelled to carry the gospel of freedom" beyond his home town. By saying this, he compares himself to Paul in the bible, strengthening his stance on his availability in Birmingham. And since negotiations failed woefully, he aims to create a form of tension that did not harm or destroy but sparks a matchstick of action; for “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In this letter, he sentimentally demystifies the story of the black folk, the story that spells oppression in its crude, unrepentant form. The analysis of the disrespect and how negotiated promises seemed ostensible. As he attempts to do this, he reveals that many have told the black folk to wait, but waiting has always meant never and how "never" has always rung in the ears of every Negro fighting for the exoneration of the black race “with piercing familiarity.”

Further, he tries to lessen the concern of his clergymen who think that he is disobeying laws by classifying laws into just and unjust laws. Because just laws are meant to be obeyed, “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” He further does this by citing the disheartening actions of Hitler, stating that they were legal in Germany, and the resistance of Hungarians was illegal in Hungary. That is to say, that legality does not equate morality.

As the letter tries to focus on themes the black folk are particular with, he does not fail to reprimand the “white moderate”, the ones that crave an orderly state at the expense of the oppressed and a just percept. This is evident when he recognizes that “privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily” as a historical dwelling. Regardless, he sends words of praise to the white folk that willingly join them in the quest for desegregation.

In conclusion, he defines oppression. “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever”, as he explains the reason for his demonstrations culling the myriad paths of discrimination, racism, and cogent prejudice the Negro has been forced to succumb to. Countless time, he established his nonviolent method of approach and regarded himself as an extremist for the freedom of the black folk. Although saddened by this appellation, he calls for the uprise of creative extremists like Jesus who he describes as an extremist for love, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther.

This letter from Birmingham jail is an overview of King Jr’s thought — oppression, segregation, extremismRhetorical Analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail, the lackadaisical attitudes of the church and white folks — and the reason for his spur. He writes the letter from a dilapidated roach-infested jail cell as an answer to the worries of his clergymen and eloquently summarizes the matters of the black folk in a racist America.

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