Dr. King establishes himself as many things, most importantly as a non-violent, authoritative man of God in order to identify himself as an equal to the clergymen. His religious influence supports the assertion that he has “the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state” (40). In his response to the men who so graciously wrote “A Call for Unity,” Dr. King establishes himself as a man of the Bible, as they have also identified themselves as members of the Christian church. This grants him the opportunity to summon the power of the Lord/God to support his argument, stating that blacks “will win our freedom because the sacr...
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...th his people. He called upon the black man to remain calm and coherent, and to show restraint against his aggressive white oppressors. By publicizing the brutality in which most African-Americans in the southern states suffered, Dr. King was proficient in gaining support from the “white moderate.” With swaying this large population of the general public, the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum and was thrown into the public eye of the nation. I expect that this letter was not blissfully received by the members of the clergy who were content with maintaining the current status quo, but created the tension needed to progress the Civil Rights movement forward.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Writing Public Lives. Eds. Christopher Minnix and Carol Nowotny-Young. Plymouth, MI: Hayden-McNeil Publishing, 2010. Pages 40-55. Print.
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