Letter from Birmingham City Jail Questions and Answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was, in his highly-regarded August 1963 letter to a group of white clergy who questioned and criticized his activities in Birmingham, Alabama, seeking, from the...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2016 3:21 am UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," his response to criticism from eight white clergymen regarding his presence in Birmingham, Alabama, during a bus boycott brought about by...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2019 12:51 am UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

This sentence from Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s letter refers to the idea that equality under the law is the cornerstone of representative democracy. It also connects to the concept that,...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2020 7:49 am UTC

4 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Dr. King uses an allusion when he refers to the Reverend Reinhold Niebuhr, an American theologian and professor as well as a leading intellectual during the mid-20th century. Niebuhr wrote several...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2019 1:24 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

When Dr. Martin Luther King wrote this letter, he was imprisoned in Birmingham and wanted to address several white religious leaders who criticized his actions in their city as "unwise and...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2019 12:21 am UTC

4 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

At the beginning of the letter, Martin Luther King makes his points with brevity and elegance when he employs double antithesis in short, gnomic phrases: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2020 4:04 am UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In this letter, Dr. King is responding to criticisms from "moderate whites" that he should have refrained from organizing mass protests in Birmingham because they were ill-timed, incited violence,...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2019 2:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Within his seminal "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," King repeatedly makes a distinction between just and unjust laws. He puts it simply by stating that any law that uplifts human personality is...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2020 6:16 pm UTC

4 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Birmingham was, as King himself put it, the most segregated city in America. Nowhere were Jim Crow laws more rigidly enforced. Birmingham was essentially run by the brutal Eugene "Bull" Connor, the...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2018 8:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In this letter, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. compares himself to Paul, one of Jesus's apostles, and this is effective in justifying his presence and his purpose for writing. To understand this, take...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2017 10:19 am UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In his "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King quotes another letter he has received from a "white brother" in Texas, who writes: All Christians know that the colored people will...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2020 8:05 am UTC

5 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In this excerpt from the "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King Jr. is criticizing the white Southern clergymen who had criticized the civil rights movement for taking direct action...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2020 11:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Figurative language enhances literal language to add value and interest to a piece of writing. King uses allusion and analogy when he writes the following: ... just as the Apostle Paul left his...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2020 2:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In parallel structure, a writer repeats the same pattern of words or/and pattern of grammatical structure. In paragraph 15 of his "Letter from Birmingham Jail", Martin Luther King uses parallel...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2020 1:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

The conclusion of Dr. King's letter can be thought to be comprised of the final three paragraphs. When he begins the conclusion, King begins the third-to-last paragraph with the words "Never before...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2019 8:06 pm UTC

4 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

On April 16, 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. sat in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, and he composed a letter to eight white members of the clergy questioning and criticizing his and his...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2017 3:03 am UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Throughout the letter, King oscillates between high imagery—imagery relating to that which is above us—and low imagery, which deals with what is below us. For instance, we have references to the...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2019 10:49 am UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

If you are looking for some examples of hyperbole in King's "Letter," here are some examples: The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward the goal of political...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2017 10:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," written in August, 1963, in response to criticism from a group of White clergymen chastizing him for engaging in direct action in Birmingham,...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2019 9:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

This work is a modern masterpiece and what makes it extra poignant is that it took place within the lifetime of many of us. Let me offer a few rhetorical strategies that Martin Luther King uses....

Latest answer posted November 24, 2011 10:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

When King refers to "direct action" he means peaceful, but illegal protests, sit-ins at segregated lunch-counters, and acts of civil disobedience—all tactics promoted and endorsed by the civil...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2018 11:00 am UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

When King wrote his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," the nonviolent mass protests of the Civil Rights movement were at their height and had gained national attention. While there was much vehement...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2019 1:15 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In this passage, King uses the language device of the rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is a question that has only one possible answer and is asked to elicit a pre-ordained response. King...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2019 9:42 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Dr. King concluded his stunning rebuttal to criticism by sympathetic clergy with an example of his overwhelming capacity for love. His audience in the final paragraph—as in the body of the Letter...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2015 6:54 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Direct action is so critical to the non-violent movement because it is the one thing above all that helps to effect change. King argues this point strenuously throughout this letter. The other...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2014 8:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Pathos is an appeal to the emotions, a common rhetorical strategy in both speeches and essays. Writers and speakers often resort to pathos as they know that appealing to the emotions tends to have...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2020 2:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In his "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King draws freely on the time-honored natural law tradition in making his distinction between just and unjust laws. For centuries, Christian...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2019 11:43 am UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

King employs multiple strategies to communicate his argument in "Letter from Birmingham Jail." However, one particular approach stands out overall because it allows him to fluctuate his tone, reach...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2018 8:05 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Dr. King makes it clear that there is an order or structure that must be followed. Its presence must be respected. Yet, this order is one that is predicated upon Christian ideals and the sense of...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2012 9:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

When King says, "one day the South will recognize its real heroes," he is referring to the many heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Specifically, King cites a number of people who have engaged in...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2019 6:03 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rallied the country to press for more civil liberties for people of color, he was not met with kindness and acceptance in many areas he visited. In both the North...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2019 3:47 am UTC

4 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

As both a man of faith and an active participant in the struggle for civil rights, Dr. King is well-placed in the "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" to counter the white Southern clergymen's...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2019 8:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a foundational document of the Civil Rights Movement. It is couched in stately language and contains rhetoric which deliberately recalls that...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2020 3:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Dr. Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail is a response to eight moderate white Birmingham pastors who generally supported the Civil Rights Movement. These pastors wrote an op-ed in...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2019 10:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In his "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King, Jr. uses the word resentment in a paragraph relaying to his readers the social injustices African Americans suffer in an effort to...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2016 7:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Dr. King makes it abundantly clear that he doesn't have time to deal with each and every criticism made of him and the civil rights movement. Besides, one can imagine that many of these criticisms...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2018 12:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Martin Luther King's August 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail certainly evinces the discipline and intellect which this leader possessed; indeed, he stands in great contrast to some who would call...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2015 4:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

King's Letter from Birmingham Jail shows how a skilled writer can use the Aristotlean elements of rhetoric to tremendous effect. First, the context: King is writing in 1963. He has been jailed for...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2017 12:32 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In the opening paragraph of Martin Luther King’s speech “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King states that he rarely replies to criticisms because if he were to answer every criticism, it would leave...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2016 2:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Martin Luther King, Jr. composed this letter to highlight his reasons for defying a law that prevented demonstrations, and more importantly, to persuade "men of genuine good will" to actively...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2018 3:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

The purpose of writing this letter was to answer criticisms leveled against King and the civil rights movement by a group of white southern clergymen. In an open letter, they had argued that it was...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2019 5:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

First of all, I have to point out that there ought to be a distinction made between civil liberties (things like First Amendment rights) and civil rights (14th Amendment/Equal Protection). I know...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2012 4:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

They were concerned that the campaign of protests and demonstrations organized by the civil rights movement was counter-productive. In particular, the clergymen singled out the violent disorder...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2018 9:53 am UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

At the beginning of his letter, Martin Luther King writes: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2021 9:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King uses a perfectly reasonable, even obvious, definition of extremist when he accepts the label. An extremist is one who is extreme in...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2021 10:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

Cause and effect arguments show the relationship between two things by explaining how one thing can cause an effect on another. For example, a very heavy rainfall can cause a flood. King is arguing...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2020 11:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

King writes that his critics, composed primarily of moderate ministers, "assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence." He asks, rhetorically,...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2019 3:52 am UTC

3 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In his “Letter from a Birmingham City Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. says that we should not think highly of the Birmingham city police just because they have acted nonviolently during the...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2016 3:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

This letter, written by Martin Luther King Jr. during a sentence he was serving in Birmingham Jail, Alabama, was a response to a public statement released by eight white Southern religious leaders....

Latest answer posted February 19, 2020 3:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

Letter from Birmingham City Jail

In this passage from his Letter, King is directly responding to his critics who deplore the tension in Southern communities that, they charge, has been created by civil rights demonstrators. King...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2019 4:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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