Analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail

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On April 12, 1963, eight white clergymen from Alabama wrote to the citizens of this state to urge them to stop the demonstrations and protests that were occurring during the civil rights movement. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. who many consider the leader of the Civil Rights Movement wrote his own letter in response. On April 16, 1963 he wrote the letter that is now known to all as the “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” This letter was directed towards the clergyman and basically all Christian people, I believe it is safe to say that this letter would be considered hostile to many in the Christian community during the time it was written. In his letter he indicates that he is purposely in Birmingham, AL because of the injustice that is occurring with the Negro people living there; “But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.” (Martin Luther King Jr. 1963) He is not only concerned about what is happening currently in Birmingham but also what is happening around the nation; “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (King, 1963) Mr. King, Jr. is convinced that if the Christian, white, middle class Americans along with their Christian leaders would get more involved in the Civil Rights Movement and stop taking the “wait and see” approach there would be no need for the protests that were currently going on; “I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom.” (King, 1963) He reinforces this statement by saying: “More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.” (King, 1963) Many churches were also struggling with following the laws of the nation in regards to segregation and staying true to the Christian doctrine of the teachings of Jesus Christ; “…love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, New International Version 1984). Mr. King...
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