Carla Del Toro
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in response to his fellow white clergymen who criticized his actions that landed him in jail. He used Biblical examples to show that his nonviolent actions were necessary for African Americans to move forward in this country. This letter was mainly directed to those religious leaders who have the power to do something about segregation but don't. The purpose is to hopefully get the backup from powerful religious leaders and end segregation. He communicates this message very effectively to these men from his examples from Saint Paul and King Solomon, which is preached within the churches of these religious leaders. He also justifies his nonviolent action by comparing it to "just" and "unjust" laws with one example of Hitler. King claims there is no better timing for something that has been at conflict for 340 years and that there was no wrong-doing during this "sit-in." Martin Luther King Jr. is asking for the help of the clergymen so they can move forward with Civil Rights. I guess being in jail had its disadvantages for King and gave him plenty of time, which he agrees by apologizing to the clergymen for such as long letter and that “it would have been shorter, but what else can one do when…alone, other than write long letters, think long thoughts, and pray long prayers?” In this reading, there are many examples of things that are wrong. For example, Martin Luther states “Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered”. Not only has a whole population of Americans been humiliated, and denied basic human rights, but they have also, been robbed of their means to participate in our political process. The right and duty to vote...
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