“Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]”

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Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote this letter in the Birmingham City Jail. He was a clergyman, however his activity in demonstrating against racial discrimination became his legacy. In this letter, which he wrote on April 16th, 1963, he appealed to other clergy against injustice for black people and he explained why he chose a nonviolent demonstration campaign. Actions of the nonviolent demonstration at first seemed ineffective and powerless, however people began to notice that the status quo of racial discrimination was very strong, unjust and immoral. He wrote that not taking action against discrimination, even if one’s opinion was against it, amounted to supporting it. He wrote about the prospect of having to explain to a child why she can’t go to a white amusement park in a TV commercial, and how terrible that was to the adult and the child. He wrote about the importance of resisting or even breaking unjust laws, and about how law enforcement in the south was a big part of the problem. Police, politicians and the courts were biased against black people. And if he sued against racial discrimination formally, he could not win in court due to the racially biased laws in the south at the time. Also, he mentioned that black people cannot wait to change the world. He said everyone, not only black people, needed to appeal to abolish racial discrimination as soon as possible rather than to the accept status quo of racial injustice over the previous three centuries. In this letter, I felt King’s enthusiasm for equality winning against discrimination. I thought that staging protests and demonstration were very effective for appeal his opinion to people directly.
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