Letter From Birmingham Jail History Assignment Paper
For this assignment, you will analyze Martin Luther King's “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
After reading the letter available among other places at
LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL
What concept was Dr. King trying to explain to the American people and the hundreds of civil rights activists who were also in Birmingham in 1963? Does Dr. King show commitment to a cause greater than himself? Explain.
Martin Luther king junior wrote this letter while in jail in Birmingham. This letter is a response to his fellow clergymen who criticized him for being in Birmingham. The clergymen argued that what martin Luther had engaged in was untimely and unwise. In his response, Martin tells them his main purpose while he was in Birmingham was to respond to issues of injustices. In his letter, he points out that the Negros were highly segregated in Birmingham and other American states. There was no justice for black people living in America. The blacks were denied access to some social amenities which were a reserve for the white people. Sharing motels, schools with the white was illegal (Dinar, 1963). They were living in abject poverty because they could not access equal opportunities with their white counterparts. There were signs everywhere indicating colored or white meaning that the blacks were not permitted in such areas. Churches were not left behind. They too participated in this ordeal of racial discrimination.
The prevailing circumstance at that time indicates that Negros were a social misfit in Birmingham. They were unwanted not because they were less human but because their color was black. The judgment leveled against them because of the color was in itself unlawful and immoral. Discriminating human beings on the basis of color is not right and should be condemned in the best way possible.
Martin Luther King committed himself to a goal greater than himself but he was very optimistic that liberation was on the way. He made a decision to fight for the rights of his Negro brothers and sister so that the yolks of injustice could be broken (Dinar, 1963). He knew that this was the best thing to do at that particular time. Martin Luther king argued that waiting for a proper time to do this was delaying justice for his people. He committed himself to a nonviolent direct action. These were demonstrations organized to compel those in authority at that time to heed the call for justice and engage in negotiations. This was the best option martin had to try and liberate his people from injustice and bad laws.
Outraged by some of the laws that humiliated the Negros, Martin Luther decided to advocate for a civil rights movement to champion for the freedom of Negros. Luther felt that some laws can be obeyed but other laws which are inhuman should not be obeyed. He refused to be passive but instead, he voiced his concerns (Dinar, 1963). He was disappointed with the church leaders who did not support him and the movement. However, Martin Luther king believed strongly that he wi...
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