Mlk Letter from Birmingham

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil disobedience, Nonviolence Pages: 2 (833 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Martin Luther King Jr. was the acknowledged leader of the American Civil Rights Movement. King earned several degrees and was a bright man. His “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written in April 1963, while he was in jail in Birmingham, Alabama, for acts of civil disobedience (499). His letter is a response to a letter signed by clergyman criticizing his actions towards civil rights. The clergymen believed that his actions were “untimely.” King states ,”if I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk…I would have no time for constructive work” (500). He usually does not respond to letter that criticize his work and actions, but he believed the clergymen were men of genuine good and they meant no harm. King was president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and they had affiliates all throughout the South. King believed he was supposed to spread freedom. He agreed that if Birmingham ever needed him that he would be there. “Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (500). King used an approach to resolve issues in nonviolent manners. It consisted of sit-ins, marches, and etc. Nonviolent direct action would create a tension that an otherwise ignored subject would have to be faced. With nonviolent direct action and ignored issue would come to light and can no longer be ignored(502). After the direct-action program, King hoped that the doors to negotiation would open. King states that African Americans have waited 340 years for their rights and that to the people not being segregated the word “wait” is easy for them to say. King talks about the endless perils Africans go through, from disrespect to death, and states why they can no longer “wait” (504). King talks about how the nation is immoral and unjust and that he must take action. He was arrested for parading without a permit and his arrest was immoral because citizens were denied the First amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest. The clergymen labeled...
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