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Gandhi Letter From Birmingham Jail Analysis

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Mohandas Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in what is now the Indian state of Gujarat. Also known as Mahatma, a title of respect which means “Great Soul” in Sanskrit – the language of Hinduism and Buddhism, he was the child of a minister; his mother was a devoted practitioner of Vaishnavism – an ascetic religion governed by the tenets of self-discipline and nonviolence. According to Gandhi, to act out against a law that was unjust or immoral was an act of civil disobedience. In order for resistance to be civil, Gandhi set forth certain criteria that had to be met including (1) An individual would harbor no anger. (2) On would have to endure an opponent’s anger and attempts to harm him – never taking action against the other person.…show more content…
states that the reason he is in Alabama is because “injustice is here.” The injustice he was speaking about was the city administration’s segregation of blacks. King believed they were failing to carry out the law because “privileged groups seldom give up there privileges voluntarily.” It was for this reason King believed people needed to act out to be heard and the method he chose was nonviolent protest. As he explains to the clergymen to whom the letter is addressed, a person who believes they are fighting an unjust law for a just cause and who is willing to take full responsibility for his actions is not disrespecting the law; he is fighting effectively for it – as King believed an unjust law was not a law at all (King, Letter From Birmingham Jail). As part of a community organization known as the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), King (along with his colleague Ralph Abernathy) were instrumental in organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott which resulted in the 1956 Supreme Court ruling that segregated busing was unconstitutional. It was after this King became the face of the Civil Rights Movement. Again with Abernathy, he formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization dedicated to fighting Jim Crow segregation through organized peaceful and nonviolent means (Ushistory.org). It was with these ideals that King continued to fight for freedom by way of strikes, boycotts, and protest
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