How Does King Create Tension In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Wait Has Almost Always Meant Never

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written during his 8 day sentence in jail in 1963. It is aimed toward a few clergymen who wrote a letter to Dr. King criticizing his doings and of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during their protests in Birmingham, Alabama referring to him as an “outside agitator”. He tells them that he was not happy about their accusations, and that he wants to confront them about their concerns.
He then addresses their claim that he is an “outsider” who has come to Birmingham to cause trouble and violence. He explains to them that he is in Birmingham not just because he has ties with the group, but because social injustice exists there. He says …show more content…

Dr. King knows that the business owners would rather have negotiations over the protests, but the negotiations are not possible without protest and protest in turns creates tension. He says that tension is needed in order for people to progress and argues that the “tension created by direct action in this case is necessary for segregation to end.” He then turns to the criticism aimed at him that the “Southern Christian Leadership Conference action is untimely and that they need to wait and be patient.” Dr. King explains that the black community has waited long enough. He insists that “the black man has waited more than 340 years for justice.” He goes on to describe a list of unfair dealings that his people have suffered in the past and in his present day. One these abuses is his experience explaining to his young six-year-old daughter why she cannot go to the public amusement park because “of the color of her skin that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people.” He asks that these men will excuse him and his brethren’s impatience in

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