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Letter from Birmingham Jail - Martin Luther King Jr.

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In "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Martin Luther King Jr. talks about the hopefulness of colored people and responds to the criticism from the public and eight white clergy men/ white liberals. He uses the appeal of pathos, logos, and ethos to communicate the painful experience of segregation and how inferior the colored-people feel. Throughout the letter, King uses a calm/friendly tone and powerful words and phrases to deliver his message and engage with the people. He states, "it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation" (King 258). King's wording seeks sympathy from the audience and shows them an insight of how those who are segregated feel. The use of ethos is presented at the beginning of the letter when King states that he is in high involvement in many organizations, conferences, and takes place in many human right movements. "I have the honor of serving as president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference...and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights" (King 254). Lastly, King uses logic to reason that he supports direction action because something constructive and nonviolent leads to growth. He claims that sit-ins, and marches create tension that eventually dramatize the problem dramatize the problem so much that it's acknowledged (256).

King also continues to say, "unconscious bitterness toward white people". He used this word choice to show that his innocent 6-year-old daughter is developing hatred towards the whites. He is trying to make the clergymen feel guilty with young children (sympathy/pathos).



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