Letter From Birmingham Jail By Martin Luther King Jr

679 Words3 Pages

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is categorized as one of the most well known advocates for non-violence demonstrations. As the leader of the civil rights movement, those of Gandhi, Socrates, and Paul influenced King’s ideas. His movement was also greatly influenced by the works of Christ and his followers. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” he discusses the events taking place in Birmingham, Alabama. “It was written as a response to ‘An Appeal for Law and Order and Common Sense.’” He addresses the clergymen, who criticized his work in Birmingham, then describes the four basic steps to any non-violent campaign. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through his “Letter From Birmingham Jail” describes self-purification as a critical point in the process of …show more content…

“We repeatedly asked ourselves: ‘Are you able to accept the blows without retaliating? ‘Are you able to endure the ordeal of Jail?’” These workshops allowed the activists to remain in a stance of compassionate non-violence; they had worked to understand what they were committing to. King stressed himself but also to other activist that was “better to suffer evil than inflict it.” The idea of practicing non-violence created a strong union between the activist, they could understand “the success of the movement depended not just on idealism and courage, but on a keen understanding and ready use of the fulcrums of power.” King during the workshops preached, “I have tired to make it clear that it is wrong to use immoral mean to attain moral ends.” At the end of the workshop volunteers would sign a “commitment card.” The use of practicing direct action using workshops prepared activists for the civil disobedience needed for the progress of the civil rights …show more content…

First required that the volunteers ‘mediate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus,’ the fifth, that they walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love,’ the eighth, that they ‘refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart’ Only after instilling such discipline could King be confident that his direct action campaign would adhere to nonviolence.”
This showed how the workshops and experimental learning are connected to one another; through the experiences learned at the workshops the volunteers were able to move into direct action with confidence.
The final ideal of self-purification is community building; Martin Luther King Jr. used the teachings of Bible to create a community between African Americans. To illustrate this teaching in his “Letter From Birmingham Jail” King wrote, “ It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry loins.. rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire.” Looking to early Christians gave the African American volunteers hope for future civil rights. Comparing their fight to that in Exodus of the Israelites, leaving for the “promise

Open Document