Influence of King’s Tradition of Civil Rights Protests and Public Demonstrations: A visual Analysis

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This essay is a visual analysis of four images from the long history of political and social protests in the United States. The goal of the essay is to uncover a number of hidden issues in the photos related to ethical appeal, emotional appeal, and logical appeal. This is significant in terms of uncovering the intentions and feelings of a number of people who participate in peaceful protests, as well as the strategies they employ to get their demands heard.
Luther King on Civil Rights Movement (Photo_Oct_01_4_12_58_PM)
Hulton Archive of Getty Images presents a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. addressing a crown of protestors regarding civil rights movement in a park during the 1960s when he was a minister as well as a civil rights activist. Hulton Archive of Getty Images is a collection of historical images that were created between the early 1800s and 1990s. It is a collection that offers a number of socially important photos, historical stock photos, and editorial shots among others.

Martin Luther is dressed in a suit to reveal the official nature of his role in the civil rights movements as well as the Government of the United States. He has a paper in his left hand which definitely contains a list of issues he was sharing with the protestors. His right hand is raised in the air, a common practice to show that he is addressing even those who are at the furthest end of the park.

The look in martin Luther’s face is an expression that reveals the ethical appeal, emotional appeal and logic in the photo. His smile does not actually match his brooding facial expression. Martin Luther is a leader and has to show strong personality in order to be followed. He smiles to show the crowd that he is confident about what he is talking about, when actually his brooding facial expression shows that he is worried because there is little he can do to help the people achieve their demands. This is common for a number of leaders within opposing sides. His smile reassures the crown that the issue of concern is important and shall be addressed, and thus makes the listeners happy. This reveals the leadership quality in Martin Luther King Jr.

The Million Man March (Photo_Oct_01_4_13_08_PM)

The AP photo captured by Steve Heiber shows the October 1995’s Million Man March, in which more than one million black men gathered around the National Mall in Washington, DC with the aim of declaring their rights to justice, atoning for the failures they had had as men, and accepting their responsibilities as the head of their families.

There is a large crowd of black men being addressed by a leader in a podium that is not captured directly in the image. Because of the large crowd, there are several screens that the listeners are watching to ensure the information regarding their issues of concern is addressed. The foreground shows a screen with a leader addressing the crowd. Men in the photo are keenly watching the screens to capture what is being said. This shows how serious the issue of discriminating blacks was. With everyone in the photo looking directly at the screen and the fact that about a million people gathered for the declaration or the rights of black people to justice, it appears that discrimination against the black people was highly unethical. The black people therefore gathered to give one another emotional support in demanding their rights to justice.

Occupy Wall Street (Photo_Oct_01_4_13_30_PM)

Stan Honda of Getty Images captures the photo of a man in the Occupy Wall Street protest that began in September 2011 within the Zuccotti Park of New York City. The protest was a movement against the economic inequality that the citizens of the United States faced as a result of corruption and embezzlement of their funds by leaders. The protest had claims that the funds were contributed by 99% from the country and only benefited 1% of the people. Here, 1% refereed to the leaders who handled money and set fiscal and monetary policies while 99% were the citizens who faced difficulties from wrong decisions of the 1% regarding the use of the money.

The photo shows a man in a hat holding a banner that read, “The 1% here to keep business as USE-U-ALL”. The hat and the coat give the protestor an official look in attempt to emulate the role of the leaders who make monetary policies. He is composed and has an appealing facial expression that attempts to show how the 1% that makes the decisions is satisfied with the situation and care less about the thoughts of those who are suffering. The sarcasm that the man in the photo displays shows how unethical it is to make wrong decisions that affects the whole community and feel satisfied with it. The emotionlessness of the man in the photo reveals how the 1% looks unmoved with the grievances of the rest of the population, and the word “USE-U-ALL” in the banner explains that the logic behind the protest is to eliminate the exploitation of the 99% by the 1%.

APA Drug Therapy (Photo_Oct_01_4_19_46_PM)

Justin Sullivan of Getty Images capture the photo of actresses Kelly Preston and Kirstie Alley leading protestors who marched against American Psychiatric Association in May 2003 to complain about the practice of the organization of using drug therapy for children. The protestors aim at enforcing the rights of school children that they believed the organization was violating. The two actresses are captures with their mouths open, an indication that they were shouting. They had a child who was looking sad in the photo and also carried banners of children with doleful facial expression. The sad look of the children showed that the practice was actually unethical and the fact that the protestors were shouting showed that it was logical to ban the practice. The sad look of the children and the anger of the protestors show the emotional appeal in the photo.

Gay Marriages Right (Photo_Oct_01_4_19_46_PM)

Below the page is an image by Alex Wong of Getty Images showing protestors who gay marriage rights around the National Mall in Washington DC, months before the court ruled for gay marriages in America in 2015. The photo shows threes couples: male and male, female and female, and make and female. All the couples are dressed for a wedding and they all have happy facial expressions that show they are satisfied with their partners. This shows it is ethical and logical to allow a person to marry anyone of their choice to ensure their emotional satisfaction.


The photos that are analyzed are about peaceful protests for civil rights in America that were initiated my martin Luther King when he was a minister in the Country. They show that any unethical issues, illogical issues or issues that depress emotions of others should be addressed through peaceful protests to ensure they are understood and addressed.

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