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Analysis of Letter from of Birmingham Jail

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A Little Jail-Bird Told Me The pen is mightier than the sword. This saying emphasizes that words are stronger than violent actions. Martin Luther King Jr. believed strongly in this saying. Being a leader of the civil rights movement, King believed in peaceful protests over violent protests. He was a kind hearted man peacefully fighting for equal rights of black and white people. At one point, his focus was Birmingham. Birmingham was thoroughly segregated and treated blacks worse than most areas. While in Birmingham, King was arrested. While in jail, King wrote a letter in response to criticism he received from white clergymen. In this letter, Martin Luther King Jr. uses a friendly, non-hostile tone mixed with a list of undisputable facts to calmly, yet assertively point out his issues with racial dilemmas. Right in the intro of the letter, King starts with a friendly and hospitable tone. He respectfully states, “…since I feel you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.” (King 1). Here, he keeps a calm tone, but his use of the word “hope” can be inferred to show that his letter may at some points become stern and serious, showing that he isn’t going to easily budge on his stance on the civil rights movement. Right away he makes it clear he is not hostile at all. He speaks respectably in order to be respected, which is not exactly common for a black man of the time. He even makes sure to introduce why he was in Birmingham, so that he does not look like he is intruding on the area. King says “I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues ‘outsides coming in.’…I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.” (King 1). Here King gives reason for his...

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