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The Letter From Birmingham Jail - Literature review Example

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The paper "The Letter From Birmingham Jail" states that letter has a powerful conclusion where he contends that the human personality and soul is damaged through segregation, which he has addressed throughout the letter. His conclusion is that segregation makes the segregator feel falsely superior…
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The Letter From Birmingham Jail
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Extract of sample "The Letter From Birmingham Jail"

Download file to see previous pages Martin Luther King Jr. who was a civil rights activist for African Americans, as well as Church minister wrote the article. The letter reflects Dr. King’s great intellect and acts as a good example of how one should write an essay in the form of a letter. He was already a major and respected leader of the civil right’s movement, which makes his views on the topic qualified, particularly because he was a church leader and the protests were led by various black churches. If one ignores this letter being authored in the 60s during the civil rights protests, this letter shows Dr. King as being a well educated, respected, and admired man.
The article was written while Dr. King was in Birmingham jail and was initially rejected by the New York Times magazine. However, excerpts were later published in May 1963 sans consent from Dr. King in the New York Post magazine. The entire letter was first published in June 1963 by Liberation, as well as in The Christian Century, The New Leader, as well as further reprints in the Atlantic Monthly, although it was titled The Negro is Your Brother. Finally, it was also included in 1964 by Dr. King in his book Why We Can't-Wait.
Dr. King ended up in Birmingham jail after they were arrested for protests against racism and segregation, and it was at this moment that white clergymen from the South wrote a letter to blacks, asking them to quit protesting. Therefore, Dr. King decided to author Letter from Birmingham Jail where he seeks to justify why direct and non-violent action is necessary, writing the letter as an answer to the white clergymen. In writing the letter to fellow clergymen, Dr. King also contends that unjust laws are immoral while also voicing his opinion on his disappointment with the stance the church had taken, which was not according to the responsibilities God placed on his people.
Dr. King tries to justify to the clergymen why the protests are happening. This is an opportune moment for both the letter and the protests, particularly because Dr. King has been put in jail for protesting against discrimination against black people. According to Dr. King, these actions by the African Americans were long overdue, and it was the best time for them to negotiate with white politicians (King 5).
This article is titled Letter from Birmingham Jail; while its thesis statement is that, the black people must be allowed to demonstrate at that time because it was necessary to do so. While this thesis statement is not clearly stated, the letter addresses this issue throughout, which means that it is the main reason for writing the letter. Therefore, one has to read the entire letter in order to infer the statement. This ensures that the audience reads the entire letter with an open mind.
The structure of the letter aids Dr. King in projecting his message. Paragraphs 2 to 5 are the most fundamental with regards to structure. The four paragraphs then transition to the remaining part of the letter. Paragraph 2 introduces the reader to the reasons for his imprisonment, which makes the letter broader. The letter’s purpose becomes clearer as one reads through it, and the most important paragraph is the fifth one, where he defends the protests in Birmingham and tells off the clergymen, “But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations” (King 4). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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