Summary Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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After reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” I was able to realise Dr. King’s stance on issues of peace, direct action, oppression and working class rights. In Dr. King’s letter he explicitly explains that peace can be a powerful weapon and should be a right. This is shown when Dr. King writes, “Such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest” (4). The topic of direct action is also mentioned when Dr. King states the most important aspects of campaigning. This is shown when he states, “In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps… determine whether injustice exist, negotiation, self purification, …show more content…

King’s letter, I found a lot about Huey P. Newton’s stances from his Essays from the Minister of Defense. Newton describes peace as somewhat of a weakness, that if used will never get the goal that one desires. This is shown when Newton writes, “The oppressor must be harassed until his doom. He must have no peace by day or night… The power of the oppressor rests upon the submission of the people.” (6). Another topic that Newton addresses is the power of direct action and how he feels it is the only way to attain one’s goal. This is expressed when he writes, “Black people must now move, from the grassroots through the perfumed circles of the Black bourgeoisie, to seize by any means necessary a proportionate share of the power.” (7). Huey Newton also acknowledges his stance on oppression when he describes the oppressor’s power over Black people, even when fighting for their freedom. He expands upon this argument by stating, “If Black people go about their struggle for liberation in the way that the oppressor dictates… we will have degenerated to the level of groveling” (6). In Newton’s piece, he also comments upon the topic of working class rights and its correlation with education. He compares the two when he writes, “He lacks innate ability to cope with socio-economic problems… not felt strongly enough to try to acquire the skills needed to manipulate his environment”

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