Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the "Letter From Birmingham Jail" in order to address the biggest issue in Birmingham and the United States at the time. The "Letter From Birmingham Jail" discusses the great injustices happening toward the Black community in Birmingham. In order to justify his desire for racial justice and equality, Martin Luther King, Jr. uses appeals to emotion, ethical appeals, and logical appeals.
The thesis, which is located in the second and third paragraphs, states that although Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is not from Birmingham, he needs to be there because of the many injustices whites do toward Blacks. By helping the people of Birmingham he helps people from everywhere because "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" (Pg. 718). Dr. King's thesis explains the reason for his involvement in the non-violent direct-action demonstrations. The thesis gives good reason for the Negroes desire to have equal rights.
One way that King supports his thesis is by using appeals to emotion. In the "Letter From Birmingham Jail" King writes of all the terrible things that the whites have done to the Negroes. He also talks about how tough it is on children to learn the discriminations blacks go through:
When you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people.... (Pg. 720)
This use of appeal is very effective because it give the reader an issue which most can relate to. Parents with children can feel the pain...