Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry Thoreau Debate Over Civil Rights

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil disobedience, Henry David Thoreau Pages: 4 (1280 words) Published: December 3, 2013

Fight For What is Right
A cold, snowy winter night in Birmingham, Alabama: one of those nights where you would rather stay inside and sit by a fire while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate. Not everyone is doing that though, for many people walk in the cold all bundled up. Some of the more unfortunate ones stay stranded outside in the freezing weather with not nearly enough layers to keep them warm. In Birmingham, a lot of these people consist of African Americans who cannot afford somewhere to keep warm or are just simply denied a place to stay based on their skin color. In this day and age, segregation exists between whites and blacks. A huge issue nationwide, but when it comes to Birmingham everything is taken to a new level. To ensure the separation of whites and blacks, you can see plenty of racial signs and other such tactics used by the city. Although between King and Thoreau, none of these resemble an issue; they both could stay warm under their nice winter jackets, both had a place to go back home to and more importantly, one was a white man and the other a black man.

Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr., both made themselves very well known and idolized by many. They knew each other through a mutual friend but came into contact when they ran into one another here in Birmingham. The segregation in Birmingham continues to get out of control with constant bombings and killings of African American citizens, causing certain groups to want to take action towards reform in Birmingham. The group known as the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights called upon King to help lead them in non-violent reform, while Thoreau made his trip here to witness the reforms. Thoreau’s time of non-violent reform came about years before King even began to participate. King actually learned just about everything from Thoreau’s writing, but Thoreau has no sense of that at this very moment. What King learned from Thoreau, he put to use more than Thoreau ever...
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