October 6, 2010
Summary of M.L.K.’s Letters from Bringham Jail
Martin Luther King Jr's “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written during his 8 day sentence in jail in 1963. He chose to travel and protest in Birmingham due to the fact that it was widely known as one of the most segregated city in the U.S. The letter not only addresses the issues of unjustly being arrested for being an "extremist" of his approach to the protest, and of the incompetence of the church but its also an appeal for things to be seen from his point of view.
One line that caught my eye was when King said that he would have, "aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws." The reason why Martin Luther King felt so strongly about his cause is that it was directed towards him- towards his people. He was the one that was pushed up against the wall, which is what made him want to reach out and find a solution to something that was directly affecting him. But what if the Negroes were the majority, and the white minority? Would his opinion still have been the same? Would he really have tried to help even though it would not have been his situation to worry about? I wonder this because we never really know what we're capable of until we're actually put in the situation.
One of the things that Martin Luther King Jr mentions repeatedly throughout the letter is the theme of oppression. While the elections occurred in Birmingham, King and his organization decided to wait till it was over to speak out so as to not cause any discord. But even after waiting and taking extra care to not cause a disturbance, their wishes were not met. In fact, during negotiations a year earlier a deal had been made but it turned out that the promises made were just to placate... [continues]
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