1963 was a pivotal year for the civil rights movements during the 1960s. Contrary to President Kennedy’s idea of the integration of African-Americans, Dixiecrats had reacted aggressively to the Birmingham Campaign. Democratic Governor of Alabama, George Wallace, in an attempt to prevent two black students from enrolling in the University of Alabama, was confronted by the federalized Alabama National Guard on June 11, 1963. This incident compelled John F. Kennedy to officially address the issue of civil rights for African-Americans on the very same day. In his “Civil Rights Address”, John F. Kennedy frequently appeals to history to warn white Americans of the danger of ignoring African-Americans’ right to equal treatment, motivates the nation
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a defense of the kind of non-violent direct action that King promoted and used during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. It is a response to statements of disapproval made by the clergymen of Birmingham, Alabama, and is obviously written in a way that appeals directly to this audience. King uses his knowledge of this audience's identity to design highly targeted arguments and to choose relevant historical examples for citation, and uses his personal experience in writing sermons and speeches to construct moving sermon-like passages that complement and reinforce his arguments. The arguments' basis in terms that the clergymen will find to be familiar and agreeable, in combination with sympathy evoking references to historical events, is particularly effective in causing the clergymen to seriously reconsider their statements.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” while most appropriately described as a response to criticism, is not written from a defensive position. While his letter more than aptly provides a functional defense of his actions at Birmingham, it serves more so as a counter-critical rebuttal that both repudiates criticisms of his deeds, and criticizes the reasoning behind said criticisms. Dr. King uses the very denunciative tools used against him, such as assertions of premature action and aggressiveness, as both defense and offense, effectively dismissing any wrong on his part, and elucidating the myopic nature of the white moderates’ reticence. What makes his criticism particularly powerful, besides its solid reasoning, and open publication, is the medium between his logic and the receptivity of his audience: his rhetoric. In his letter, King addresses the accusations of civil disobedience and extremism, and his being encouraged to submit to quietism, but the manner in which these facets are presented by the opposition, distort King’s actual position, proving to be the greatest threat to King’s efforts. King’s ability to overcome these obstacles was not through the use of logic alone, but through the use of rhetorical delivery.
First, he refers to the “Emancipation Proclamation” issued by President Lincoln in 1863, reminding his audience that “one hundred years of delay have passed since [slaves were freed] . . . yet their heirs, their grandson, are not fully free . . . from the bonds of injustice” (para. 8). He argues that African-Americans, descendants of the slaves who had been set free one hundred years ago, are not of a lower status than that of white Americans. Yet, they are legally discriminated for another hundred years out of no reason but the colour of their skin. Kennedy also points out that immediate actions are necessary to correct the situation by appealing to “the old code of equity law under which [Americans] live” (para. 12), and the code “commands for every wrong a remedy” (para. 12). He makes use of a historical document, the “Emancipation Proclamation”, a historical figure, President Lincoln, and a long-established practice of American legal system, to motivate his audience to end discrimination that should have been eliminated one hundred years ago. More recently, among the Americans who joined the force to fight the Vietnam War, 12.6 percent of them were blacks, while they made up only 11 percent of the population (qtd. in Nelson). Kennedy asserts that if the nation “do[es] not ask for whites only” (para. 3) when
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his famous “A Letter from the Birmingham Jail” on April 16, 1963 while he was imprisoned in the Birmingham Jail for being involved in nonviolent protests against segregation. The letter is directed at eight white clergymen from Alabama who were very cynical and critical towards African Americans in one of their statements. Throughout the letter, King maintains an understanding yet persistent tone by arguing the points of the clergymen and providing answers to any counterarguments they may have. In the letter, King outlines the goals of his movement and says that he will fight racial inequality wherever it may be. Dr. King uses the appeal three main rhetorical devices – ethos, logos, and pathos – in order to firmly, yet politely, argue the clergymen on the injustices spoken of in their statement.
In April 1963, a civil activist by the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. composed the Letter from Birmingham Jail while imprisoned in the most segregated city of Birmingham, Alabama, for protesting the treatment of black Americans. In the letter, Dr. King confronts an audience of eight white Alabama clergymen who had written to Dr. King previously and later urged black Americans to withdraw. However, notable civil activist was persistent. Dr. King shows his undeterred commitment to his cause in the letter by applying rhetorical techniques. Through the use of description and definition, he aims to justify his protests from continued demonstrations while unveiling the dangers that accompanied
After being arrested in downtown Birmingham on a Good Friday, Reverend Martian Luther King Jr. wrote his famous letter, “A Letter From Birmingham Jail” responding to the criticism demonstrated by eight prominent white clergymen. This letter has been found important through out history because it expresses King’s feelings towards the un-just event and it is an example of a well-written argument.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He wrote the article “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, which was published May 12, 1963 in the New York Post Sunday Magazine. King uses metaphors in the letter to question the audience from a passionate and unpassionate view. Also puts figurative language and a demanding tone to make the audience join his anti-racist movement.
The investigation for this internal assessment will investigate the significance of John Kennedy’s influence in the civil rights movement. I will discuss any significance and criticism towards Kennedy during the involvement in the civil rights movement between the years 1961 till 1963 will be discussed. The investigation will include the books John F. Kennedy: The Life, the Presidency, the Assassination written by Andre Deutsch in which he illustrates a biography of John F. Kennedy from his wartime heroism and marriage to Jacqueline Bouvier to the controversial 1960 election, Cuban Missile Crisis, Civil Rights movement, escalating conflict in Vietnam, and assassination, it captures the key moments of his life and career. Additionally, with When Freedom Would Triumph: The Civil Rights Struggle in Congress, 1954–1968. In this piece it shows how political leaders in Washington: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, and others transformed the ardent passion for freedom: the protests, marches, and creative nonviolence of the civil rights movement. These two sources will be used for their origin, purpose, value, and limitation and more sources about John F. Kennedy’s involvement during the Civil Rights Movement will be used to answer the question: How significant
Jackie Robinson, from early on in his life, was known for his great achievements in sports, but his achievements in sports only aided the greater goal of racial equality. Robinson attended Pasadena Junior College, where he often got in trouble for not cooperating with Jim Crow laws- laws that enforced segregation between African Americans and Whites. He also attended UCLA College where he met his future wife, but he was not able to finish because of financial difficulties. When he entered the Military he faced discrimination from other soldiers; this discrimination he faced showed him that sports were his true calling, not the military. He seemed destined to lead a career in bringing African Americans and whites together. Jackie Robinson played baseball at a time when it was segregated, a time where there were white leagues and African American leagues and the two did not mix. Being a civil rights activist, Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, opening up sports to African Americans.