Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is an emotional letter about the trials and tribulations of the African American people. He wrote this piece to fellow clergymen to address their concerns regarding the 1963 nonviolent direct-action demonstrations in Birmingham, AL. In Dr. King’s letter he talks about the injustice that is proceeding with the ordeals of the segregation.
All three appeals are employed in this letter and I seem to be drawn towards the emotional appeal, pathos, more than the rest due to the immense amount of emotion he projects.While reading this letter it almost left me breathless, I immediately felt empathy for everyone who had to endure such injustice. Dr. King writes the clergymen and places them into his reality multiple times. One emotional appeal stood out to me more than the rest, “when you finally find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children,” to only image the picture he has painted breaks my heart.The fact that the world was so unjust then to the point where it affected not only adults in the African American race, but children also, really hurt me.
Dr. King states “when do you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: ‘Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean? ’ ”. The emotional appeal in this letter was very strong and nearly had me in tears reading it that I almost felt guilty by the mere virtue of being part of what Dr. King describes as the “oppressor race”.The way Dr. King wrote this paper it really puts you into his role and has you support his unjust situation.
Dr. Kings will to not give up on the fight for equal rights, and to stop the injustice that is happening around him shows him to be of very good, and strong character. He indicates to the clergymen his expertise by saying: “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and organization operation in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. ” Dr.
King was the president of the Southern Christian Leadership and was called down to Birmingham, Alabama by an affiliate and was asked to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if deemed necessary. He lived up to his promise and arrived in Alabama to help out the organization. Dr. King states, “I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham.Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
” He not only shows that he is a man of his word but he also shows that he is a credible man that is worth listening to, or else they wouldn’t have called on him for help. While reading this letter the facts that Dr. King points out completely left me in bewilderment to hear what they went through during this time. He was a very intelligent and knowledgeable man and stated the hard true facts of life for African Americans in this letter. “Now, what is the difference between the two?How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.
An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. ” He continues to state facts throughout this entire letter that most people probably would not know. I learned many things by just reading this, and it really stopped me in my tracks when I read the following quote from Dr. King, “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal’.
It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws. ” The fact of the matter is that no one had been doing anything wrong besides the unjust laws towards segregation. Before reading this I wasn’t aware of what an impact Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. made on people during the segregation.After reading this letter I feel that he was very reliable, credible, and intelligent man. As Dr. King ends his letter he states, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstand will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty. ” As he ended his letter with that it really shows how sincere he was about equal rights and his true appeal to the situation.