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Summary of MLK Jr.s Letter From Birmingham Jail


summary of MLK Jr.s Letter From Birmingham Jail

restraint from violence in public, does not make their actions just. King understands that the clergymen value negotiation over protest, but he insists that negotiations cannot happen without protest, which creates a crisis and tension that forces unwilling parties (in this case, the white business owners) to negotiate in good faith. He admits that his intention seems paradoxical, since he expects whites to follow laws that protect equality, while breaking others. Back, nEXT, cite This Page. Its surprising that even while imprisoned, while knowing that his efforts have been futile, Martin Luther King still wrote diplomatically. However, he then distinguishes between just and unjust laws, insisting that an individual has both a right and a responsibility to break unjust laws. He then explains in detail his process of organizing nonviolent action. King would have turned violent. After reading an open letter from eight white clergymen in the local newspaper criticizing him and his fellow activists, MLK decided he might as well write back to let them know what was on his mind.

summary of MLK Jr.s Letter From Birmingham Jail

Jim Crow system of separate schools, restaurants, bathrooms, etc. He next turns to the clergymen criticism that the sclc action is untimely. On the other hand are the more violent factions, exemplified by Elijah Muhammad and his Black Muslim movement. He argues that they value order over justice, and as a result have made it easier for the injustice of segregation to persist. King's letter was not even widely distributed until years after the Birmingham protests. They have survived slavery and persisted towards freedom despite centuries of atrocities, and have in fact provided the center of American history.

From a solitary confinement cell in Birmingham, Alabama. He had a philosophy and a plan and everything. King points out that freedom is never voluntarily given by the the Act of Violent Behavior from a Police Officers oppressor. He admits that words like tension frighten white moderates, but embraces the concepts as constructive and nonviolent. Criticism #4: The Negro community should be more patient and wait for society to move gradually toward civil rights. In answer to criticisms 6, 7 and 8, King adds to the structure of his letters two 'confessions.' They are both confessions of profound 'disappointment.' Each is directed toward hypocrisy and cowardice, and each has to do with specific groups of Americans whom he calls. Since King is also a man of the cloth (reverend) he is able to use these biblical characters in his letter to illustrate his knowledge of the bible and by justifying his actions on their terms he is also able to show his intelligent. In the next few paragraphs he talks about the demonstrations and the four steps in a nonviolent campaign which consist of collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist, negotiation, self-purification and direct action. They sought to establish a non-violent, creative tension. Because he believes that all communities and states are interrelated, he feels compelled to work for justice anywhere that injustice is being practiced.

Letter from Birmingham Jail Summary - Shmoop



summary of MLK Jr.s Letter From Birmingham Jail


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