Summary: Martin Luther King's "A letter from Birmingham jail" was written in response to a published statement by eight fellow clergymen from Alabama who fiercely criticized King for organization and participation in the protest march against segregation in Birmingham. King's letter was an attempt to defend himself from accusations and to criticize white moderates and church. From the first lines of the letter, Martin Luther King tries to reject the accusation of being an outsider.
Martin Luther King wrote "A letter from Birmingham jail" in response to a published statement by eight fellow clergymen from Alabama who fiercely criticized King for organization and participation in the protest march against segregation in Birmingham. King's letter was an attempt to defend himself from accusations and to criticize white moderates and church.
From the first lines of the letter, Martin Luther King tries to reject the accusation of being an outsider in Birmingham. He claims that he was invited to Birmingham and had organizational ties as the president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Moreover, Martin Luther King did not consider himself to be an outsider due to the fact that all people who live within bounds of the United States of America could not be described as outsiders.
In response to accusations that the demonstrations were...
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Show MoreMartin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is an excellent example of an effective argument; it was written in response to an editorial addressing the issue of Negro demonstrations and segregation in Alabama at the time. He writes in a way that makes his argument approachable; he is not attacking his opposition, which consists of eight Alabama clergymen who wrote the editorial. This is illustrated in his opening sentence: “My dear Fellow Clergymen” (464). King was an activist for civil rights during this time, and came to Alabama to help out his fellow brothers that were facing opposition. He was concerned with the monologue rather than dialogue that was going on during this time in Alabama; where each side would talk about the…show more content…
Here the audience sees that King addresses the problem of “shallow understanding from people of good will,” saying that “lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection” (470). King proposes that these white moderates stop being passive and wait around; rather they take a stand either way. He incorporates credible sources, prime examples, and refutes any argument that the clergymen might have. King proves himself and his argument through examples, and he answers every aspect of the clergymen’s letter, making his argument a strong and informative one.
I have found that in argument I am more willing to negotiate and talk with another if they allow themselves to be open-minded, or criticized in their views. For example, when my friend Tyler and I were arguing over the meaning of predestination in the Bible, I would give him time to explain to me his thoughts. He believed that predestination as is stated in the Bible should be taken in the literal sense, that God chose people to become saved and therefore we as humans have no control over our salvation. In turn, he listened when I addressed my views on predestination, which consisted of my thoughts that predestination should be taken in a