Critical Reading Responses #1
Martin Luther King Jr. was born in January 15, 1929. He wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” which he wrote when he was in jail. He was the most influential civil rights leader in America. He was arrested when protesting the existing segregation laws in downtown Birmingham. While he was in prison, he heard that the clergymen were saying that his activities were “unwise and untimely” and they wanted him and his fellows to stop their demonstration. This letter, Letter from Birmingham Jail, is his response that he actually spent time to write. The letter tries to justify the need for nonviolent direct action, the meaning of just law, and the disappointment with the Church who did not have responsibilities that there were people of God. King maintains that there are four basic steps in nonviolent campaign which are “collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action” (paragraph 6). He says that Birmingham is the most segregated city in the United States and he and his fellows have been through all those steps in Birmingham. He states that “Negros” have been through “unjust treatment”. In addition, African Americans are threatened by unsolved violent actions such as Bombing. With these situations, “Negro” leaders desired to negotiate with city councilor. When he had a chance to discuss with the people who are controlling economics in Birmingham about removing the racial signs in stores, they betrayed even though they agreed to forbid the discrimination (paragraph 7). The reason why he went to Birmingham was that injustice was there and also he was invited for demonstration. He expresses that “there are two types of laws: just and unjust”. He thinks that he would be the first to publicly recommend obeying just laws. He explains the differences between just and unjust laws in paragraph 16. He writes “A just law is a manmade...