English 102 – 4353
Instructor – Joshua Barnes
The Everlasting Voice of Understanding
During the 1960’s of American history violent acts were aimed at African Americans in the name of racism and segregation. In a case such as this one, many would seek refuge from the government, but to little surprise, cries for refuge went unanswered. Making matters worse was the fact that the Government allowed segregation to continue due to legal documents in many southern states. Acceptable forms of oppression were separated into four categories: racial segregation; voter suppression, in southern states; denial of economic opportunity; private acts of violence aimed at African Americans. At this time, many civil rights laws were advocated and many African Americans adopted a combined strategy of direct action with nonviolent resistance, known as civil disobedience. There were some positive actions throughout this time. In the early 1960’s, Brown vs. Board of Education made segregation legally impermissible; Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott the local ordinance segregating African-Americans and whites on public buses was lifted; Desegregation Little Rock; and The Civil Rights Act of 1957. However, many cities were still very segregated; Birmingham, Alabama was one of the most segregated cities in the United States. In the case of a calm and collected approach to fighting injustice, few have a vision such as Rev. Dr. Luther King Jr. King's letter from Birmingham reflects his opinion that peace and non-violence were vital in achieving desegregation and important human rights for African Americans throughout the nation during the 1960’s. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was an appeal to the general African American population to lay down their weapons and rest their spite filled minds. He uses pleas to emotions, logic and to history in order to portray his vision. King famously preached to a tone of non-violence which fell upon deaf ears to...
Cited: King, Jr., Martin. "Letter from Birmingham Jail."uscrossier.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Jul 2013. <http://www.uscrossier.org/pullias/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/king.pdf>.
Mott, Wesley. The Rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail. Atlanta: Clark Atlanta University, 1975. Web. <http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/274640?uid=3739864&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102424455421>.
Carpenter, C.C.J, Joseph Durick, et al. "Statement by Alabama Clergymen." American Friends Service Committee. (1963): n. page. Web. 2 Jul. 2013. <http://www.stanford.edu/group/King//frequentdocs/clergy.pdf>.
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