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Analysis of Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

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Analysis of Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

  • Course: Political Science 101
  • Professor: John Vento
  • School: Antelope Valley College, CA
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Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” and Civil Rights in America On April 3, 1963 a movement began all over the skirts of Birmingham, Alabama with the ultimate goal of raising national awareness over the issues of racial segregation in America. This campaign was orchestrated by Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and Southern Christian Leadership Conference of which Martin Luther King Jr. was president of. These demonstrations had the objective of awakening America to an injustice that was occurring all over the south, and they would do this through the means of non-violent movements which included coordinated marches and sit-ins all over the city of Birmingham. A week into the campaign a circuit judge by the name of W.A. Jenkins put into play a blanket injunction against the protestors that barred “parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing, and picketing”. Leaders of the movement firmly rejected to obey this injunction and they, along with all those who were a part of this campaign continued on. On April 12, at the peak of the campaign, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in a somewhat violent manner along with some notable other such as Ralph Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth. He would then spend time in the harsh confinements and conditions of the Birmingham Jail, where he would right arguably the most powerful letter of all time involving Civil Rights.

An ally of Dr. King managed to sneak in a newspaper from April 12, in which it contained an article that made a “Call to Unity”. This article was made based on the statements Lizama 2
of eight white Alabama clergymen that opposed Dr. King and his perspective influenced methods. This, along with what Dr. King described as being alone in a “narrow jail cell, thinking long thoughts and praying long prayers”, is what drove him to manifest such a powerful and

influential piece of writing. It is clear in my opinion that Mr. King was very disturbed by the accusations of the white...