Bauman Moscow State Technical University Letter from Birmingham Jail Discussion


“Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written by Martin Luther King Jr., as the title indicates, while he was confined in the Birmingham city jail in April, 1963. King is ostensibly responding to a “Public Statement by Eight Alabama Clergymen” who called the actions of King and other non-violent protesters “unwise and untimely.” However, the real audience for this letter becomes the white moderates who favor civil rights but who have done nothing to aid the struggle.


As you read the letter, note how King establishes his ethos, appeals to his audience through pathos, and even employs logos-based arguments. Once you have read the letter, post a response of 2 – 3 paragraphs explaining where you see King using these appeals (quoting relevant passages and citing the page number), and explaining how they are attempting to persuade his target audience.

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