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Word Count: 860
Letter from Birmingham Jail is a clearly written essay that explains the reasons behind and the methods of nonviolent civil disobedience and gently expresses Kings disappointment with those who are generally supportive of equal rights for African-Americans Martin Luther King more than any other figure shaped American life from the mid-50s to the late 60s This was a time when large numbers of Americans barely recognized as such by sanctioned power dared to dream of what the country could be at its best in the face of what often was its worst For example in December 1955 days after Montgomery civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to obey the citys rules mandating segregation on buses a bus boycott was launched and King was elected as president of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association As the boycott continued through 1956 King gained national prominence as a result of his exceptional oratorical skills and personal courage Despite attempts to suppress the movement Montgomery buses were desegregated in December 1956 after the United States Supreme Court declared Alabamas segregation laws unconstitutional Kings leadership took place during the most tumultuous period in Americas recent past Under his guidance the unfathomable goal of abolishing federal and state-sanctioned segregation and discrimination was accomplished in only a few short years Kings factual and reasoned approach is intended to win his adversaries over by appealing to their consciences King works with a rhetorical tradition not only because it is effectual but also because it resonates with the deepest aspect of his calling which was to spread the gospel of brotherhood and justice 152 From his peaceful persuasion to imaginative solutions in changing times to the power of hope optimism nonviolence strategy and finally to the need for a great dream these valuable applications are comprehensive instruments for taking courageous action under even the most difficult of circumstances Above all King follows his method of careful reasoning and is convinced that his arguments
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