Mlk Birmingham Jail Dbq

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Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist who campaigned against social injustice across the country by protesting for equal rights for African Americans. Dr. King used a form of nonviolent protest to emphasize his message of equality to the white community, and by doing so inspired the black community to follow his lead. The group of men who wrote a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. were eight religious individuals who were called clergymen, that disagreed with the civil rights movement. While Dr. King was in jail they wrote a letter, that stated the peaceful protests were ineffective, caused problems in Birmingham , and was poorly timed to go forward with protesting. Dr. King responded to the clergymen while he was incarcerated …show more content…

These directives targeted African Americans in order to, “preserve segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and peaceful protest” (p.15). Although it would resolve one group's concerns, it would alienate and discriminate another group's rights. When the white community didn’t agree with the actions of the black community they would use the law to their advantage as it was unjust and favored them. Dr. King wanted African Americans who were protesting to know that what they were doing was appropriate under an unjust law. To do this he used a common ground that both communities shared, as a result he used Christianity. Dr. King states, “There are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all.’”(p.11). An unjust law is unfair to all people regardless of race. He alluded to Christian ideologies, because he wanted to show his central audience, which were the clergymen that, previously Christians agreed with his perspective on unjust laws , and how African Americans shouldn’t be deprived from their rights. With alluding to Saint Augustine Dr.King was successful in justifying the need to protest, because he demonstrated the distinction between unjust and just laws, and why the African Americans should, or shouldn’t follow them. Furthermore, he also alludes to early Christianity when he states, “early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being ‘disturbers of the peace’”(27). Christians used to be considered “disturbers of the peace”, from the majority of the people around that time, but they were able to bring an end to the “ancient evils” that were occurring. The allusion was used to show the similarities between the African Americans and the Christians, to show the actions the white community are putting

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