Martin Luther King Birmingham Jail

1560 Words7 Pages
In the early 1960s, race had become the biggest issue in the South. Many African Americans were being sprayed down with water hoses just because of the color of their skin. Many bombings had taken place, one in particular, the 16th Street Baptist Church. The church was bombed, ultimately because the church was home to African Americans. This society was no longer about right and wrong, but had turned into hatred for the opposite race. Many people in the African American community decided to take a stand against this hatred; for example, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others. The one that is most known for taking a stand in this time period is Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was arrested in 1963 in the City of…show more content…
King starts by giving respect to the men but also gives respect to himself and then explains to them what he thinks is right and wrong. Dr. King establishes himself to the eight clergymen in the beginning of the letter by saying “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every Southern state with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia” (King 863). He explains his title to them and then goes on to say “So I am here, along with several other members of my staff, because we were invited here. I am here because I have basic organizational ties here. Beyond this, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here” (King 863). But before saying all of this he is very respectful with the very first words he says in the letter which are “My Dear Fellow Clergymen” (King 863); this shows the men he is writing to respect because he says fellow meaning they are not enemies in his eyes but equal to him. Dr. King uses the rhetorical principal of ethics when he says “The answer is not found in the fact that there are two types of laws; there are just laws and there are unjust laws” (King 865). He also says that a person has a responsibility to disobey an unjust law (King 865). Later on in the paragraph he goes on to say “I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all’’” (King 865). Dr. King addresses the issue of the unfair treatment and says that no wrong has been done. He says this because the laws that have been put in place are unjust. For example, laws which allow the separation of water fountains, African Americans sitting in the back of the bus, or the African Americans only being able to eat at certain restaurants are wrong. Many things were seen as right in the period, that many people knew were actually
Get Access