MLK Letter Reflection

Recasting Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ as a social media post suggests that I had to understand the context of MLK’s letter and apply it to the modern audience. The project requires us to understand Bitzer’s Rhetorical Situation and implement the technical terms we have learned. In this assignment of MLK’s rhetorical situation, I had to change the letter to a modern audience; however, I found that the modern society’s constraints and exigencies were similar to MLK. The recent emergence of racist acts and the movement against racism has shown me our backward community. I had to find a genre that was effective to overcome the constraints and exigence.

One of the constraints I came across while designing the post was the Black Lives Matter fists symbol. Initially, I thought this was an excellent symbol to use to represent this movement. However, when I presented this idea in class, my professor informed me that white moderates who first glance at this post would see the black fists. In their view of the black fists, they relate it to violence. To change their view of the BLM movement and violence, I wanted to portray peace. Therefore, I added the peace symbol, which might change their opinion or make them think differently about the black lives matter movement. I learned about constraints, exigence, and audience in Bitzer’s Rhetorical Situation and how it can be applicable in our daily lives. I found this letter to be challenging to analyze his message. However, by breaking down the letter with Bitzer’s rhetorical situation, it provided a structured and clear format to present MLK’s message in today’s society.