The Rhetoric of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther king was a Nobel peace award-winning minister; his efforts targeted equality among the individuals of nations (Martin 37). Therefore, his persuasive mode of communicating helped him to make his listeners to explore their thinking capacity and see the real racial injustices done by compatriots. In his letters and articles, Martin employed a number of persuasive methods to convince the readers to understand his stance. This is demonstrated in his articles, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the speech at the Great march on Detroit, “I Have a Dream” and in his acceptance speech while receiving Nobel Peace Award.  From period TIME immemorial, the advocates of social justice use rhetorical plan to persuade their rivals of their argument, Martin being among those who employed pathos, ethos and logos in his articles to enhance credibility and in arousing emotions among his readers and audience.

The supporters of the movement for civil rights for African-Americans as well as, Americans have come up with thorough execution of those strategies in advocating for end to racial injustices. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” send to the Clergy and published publicly in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. targets to persuade of the utility of his dedication in agitating for the civil rights of the African-Americans. To convince his readers, Martin Luther King Jr. primarily uses Aristotle’s three kinds of arguments; appeals to ethos, pathos, as well as, logos. Foremost, he appeals to his own status and knowledge. Second, he attempts to arouse emotion in the readers and appeal for sympathy from the whites towards the African-Americans. Lastly, he appeals to logic, helped by proof, as well as, citations from influential thinkers (Martin 20). These three articles observe these rhetoric and helps in captivating his audience and moving the readers towards his ideologies.

Martin Luther King, Jr. represents the African-American community in the US. He provides evidence to his rivals as he has adequate authority to support the civil rights cause on behalf of his society. The first instance that shows Martin Luther King, execution of this long-term plan is seen in the second paragraph of the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,”

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been                                   influenced by the view, which argues against “outsiders coming in.” I have the                         honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership                                         Conference, an organization   operating in every Southern state, with                            headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia (Martin para. 2).

Therefore, he reminds his interlocutors of his place of leadership in the religious society. This permits him to stand in the case of equivalent qualifications with the clergymen. In addition, in the third paragraph, he states that similar to Paul, he have SV to reply regularly to the Macedonian call for support. He posits that he has the help from Almighty Lord to wage his warfare against discrimination.

He says;

Just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus     Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the       gospel of freedom far beyond my own hometown. Like Paul, I must constantly           respond to the Macedonian call for aid” (Martin para. 3)

For that reason, because God has preferred him, it means he is of higher moral values. As a final point, with regard to the fourth paragraph, he moves ahead: “furthermore, I am aware of the interrelatedness of all societies, as well as, states.” Therefore, Martin Luther King, Jr. aims to remind his readers of his fit to the group of the open-minded citizens. Accordingly, he has the indispensable knowledge to argue his opinions. These statements aids in fostering confidence and developing a sensation of sympathy and proximity for the civil rights basis among his readers. It further produces emotion in his readers, both African American communities and whites in general to decline the aggressiveness arising from the whites and restructure the fire of peaceful contestation concerning the African American minds. Luther King, Jr. stresses the inequality faced by the associates of the African American community, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Martin para. 14). Hence provides the white reader with an insight into the dismal condition in which the African Americans are based.

Similarly, in his acceptance speech, Martin uses various ethos, pathos and logos to reach and touch the audience gathered to witness him coveted with Nobel Peace award for his rhetorical and equivocal efforts in fighting for the rights of the African-Americans segregated and discriminated by the whites.

Martin speech demonstrates his moral standing as it cultivated confidence and trust among the African-Americans who are segregated in the country. He says, “I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when 22 million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice” Martin para. 1). The introductory remarks clearly identifies him with his course in fighting for racial injustices and helps in creating confidence among the African-Americans. This, furthermore, evokes sorrow and pity of the racial injustices that the African-Americans go through .It demonstrates the agony and the worries of the African- Americans.

He also uses logos in his word choice in expressing discomfort about the prejudice discrimination accorded to the African-Blacks due to their race. This is achieved through repetition of phrases that demonstrate his anger and inhumanity that the whites do to the African-Americans. Example is, “I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that…, I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life”.

Conversely, the written speech, “I Have a Dream” read at the Great march on Detroit by Martin has employed rhetoric. In the speech, logos are used in advancing his message to the whites and in motivating and creating courage and confidence in the African-Americans to keep on with the struggles. Phrases such as, “I have a dream…” are used repeatedly to woo people to rally behind him in the fight for their rights. He says, “I have a dream that one day, right down in Georgia and Mississippi and Alabama, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to live together as brothers” (Martin para. 30). He repeatedly uses this phrase, which helps him to arouse the instincts of people and project him as a person who is selfless, confident and with integrity. He puts his people before his own self-interests.

He also uses phrases such as “we” to ensure that he is rallied by every person and as a sign of unity towards a common goal by writing:

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