King’s Letter: An Argument Evaluation

King’s Letter: An Argument Evaluation - Cason 1 Andrew...

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Cason 1 Andrew Cason Professor Gordon English 123 13 September 2007 Audience: Professor Gordon, fellow classmates and other scholarly persons who have read King’s work. Purpose: To explain and evaluate the effectiveness of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” King’s Letter: An Argument Evaluation In 1963, Martin Luther King was fighting for civil rights for African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama and was arrested for participating in a march that was not issued a permit. While in jail, King wrote a letter in response to a newspaper editorial about the protests written by local clergymen that states that recent protest and civil disobedience, though peaceful, are an “incite to hatred and violence” (Carpenter 911). In “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, King’s purpose is not only to refute the arguments of the clergy but also to persuade people of the moderate to support and participate in the movement. King has a mastery of logic and persuasion. He presents himself through his writing as a man of excellent character and throughout his work his arguments appeal to our reason and emotions. King argues that his actions in Birmingham are suitable and right. He states that he is obligated to come to Birmingham because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (King 912). King insist that civil disobedience is the best course of action. He cites that all negotiations have stopped and waiting for newly elected government
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Cason 2 officials to act has wasted a large amount of time. King writes, “The purpose of our direct action program is too… open the door to negotiation (again)” (King 914). He states waiting for change through the status quo is not possible, the effects of racism are too
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King’s Letter: An Argument Evaluation - Cason 1 Andrew...

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