Summary Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In 1963 a social activist for the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in response to a public statement by eight Alabama clergymen, criticizing Dr. King’s actions. Dr. King was leading a peaceful march in Birmingham with his followers, when he was arrested for protesting. Dr. King was confined in the Birmingham jail for a total of four days in which he wrote his letter with only a newspaper that contained the public statement by the clergymen. During this time Birmingham was immensely known for its injustice and racism, being one of the most segregated cities. Dr. King’s position was to mend the injustice and inequality through non-violent peaceful actions. Dr. King argues that we have a moral duty to contravene the unjust laws. This concept seems contradicting, following some laws but not others. Dr. King is saying that laws are put in place for the citizens to follow however; following the unjust laws are only furthering segregation. Dr. King states, “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality …show more content…

King expresses that citizens should not only want to deal with local problems, but also with problems in other areas (King). In the statement from the Alabama clergymen, they accuse Dr. King of being an unwanted outsider. The clergymen believe that Dr. King is coming into Alabama unwantedly, trying to fix the issue of inequality. The clergymen go as far to say that Dr. King is “an outsider looking in” (King). Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. bluntly states “But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.” Dr. King is showing that to fix segregation they must deal with it in other places as well as locally to them, since Birmingham was one of the worst cities racially Dr. King and his followers go to take a stand to the inequality. Dr. King reflects that citizens should be able to take a stand in states other than their own without being called an

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