“Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ was written by Martin Luther King in the year 1963. This was an open letter written by Martin Luther King from a Birmingham jail in Alabama, where he had been imprisoned for participating in the arrangement and organization of a peaceful protest. The protest was in to opposition to racial segregation by Birmingham’s city government and downtown retailers. The letter was written in reaction to a declaration by a number of white Alabama clergymen who were of the view that though social prejudices and wrongs existed in society, the fight against the prejudices, wrongs and racial segregation should not be fought in the streets. The white clergymen were of the view that this should be taken to courts. Luther uses his experiences, knowledge and perspective to illustrate the troubles of the Black community. By using logos, ethos and pathos, he is able to build trust and confidence in his readers, which enables him influence their actions. He also builds trust by quoting a number of historical leaders such as Jesus, St. Paul and St. Augustine, which brings him out as a learned person.
Martin Luther King Junior opposes and addresses himself in the letter to persons promoting the views of the white clergy. The letter stated that only the use of non-violent actions could help achieve the true civil rights for all members of society. He stated, “This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ and “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” (King Jr., 1968). Martin Luther King efficiently makes use of logos in the writing of his letter. Luther ensures that he gives a number of reasons for every argument he gives. Martin Luther also ensures that he gives his arguments, reasons and explanations in a logical manner. For instance, he starts his letter by showing why he thinks the claims by the white clergymen is incorrect. Luther effectively uses logos to elicit a number of viewpoints on readers of the letter. Luther ensures that for every action he advocates for, he gives the reasons why he advocates for the particular actions.