Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail

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1. The reason King was in Birmingham is because he was invited there as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and it was his duty to protest injustice and spread freedom through a nonviolent program. As King was invited by one of his affiliates at an official organization, he is not an outside, but more akin to an important guest. Even if the invitation had not occurred, it was still his duty, as the prophet of the “gospel of freedom” just as it was Paul’s duty to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. King’s famous quote means that those who have ignored the issues of Birmingham have ignored an issue that concerns the entire world. Segregation and the intense racism felt in there will affect the entire world, regardless of physical separation. This quote applies to today as well, we cannot let injustice of any kind take place on earth, because injustice is like a quickly spreading virus, it will overtake us until there is nothing left. We cannot divide ourselves into the “just” and “unjust”- just as we cannot divide ourselves be religion, ethnicity, or region. Injustice in any place will be the downfall of justice in all places.

3. The four basic steps of nonviolent direction action are collection of the facts to determine whether injustice exists, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. An example of the injustice in Birmingham is segregation, treatment in courts and bombings. Negotiations in Birmingham have been attempted, but the city fathers will not engage in the negotiations. Self-purification in Birmingham is done when the Negros resist violence, and direct action comes in the form of nonviolent protests. An example of a nonviolent protest that followed these steps is Gandhi’s nonviolent protests which showed the world the British imperialism within India was wrong.

4. King and the others decided to delay their actions so that when Election Day came, the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the...
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