Summary Of Letter From Birmingham Jail By Martin Luther King

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Dr. King brings up the anxiety that willingness to break laws can cause. He decides next to answer the question, “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” He feels that, “there are just laws, and there are unjust laws” (Letter from Birmingham Jail 2). Dr. King explains first that, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God” (Letter from Birmingham Jail 2). He next explains that, “Any law that degrades human personality is unjust” (Letter from Birmingham Jail 3).
Dr King continues on to provide more examples for just and unjust laws. Dr. King details that, “An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. On the other hand, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow, and that it is willing to follow itself” (Letter from Birmingham Jail 3). …show more content…

is being called an “extremist”. He makes the case that there are two sides of viewpoints in the African-American community. He explains that, “One is a force of complacency made up of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, have been so completely drained of self-respect and a sense of ‘somebodiness’” (Letter from Birmingham Jail 4). He mentions that, “on the other hand, of a few Negroes in the middle class who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because at points they profit by segregation, have unconsciously become insensitive to the problems of the masses” (Letter from Birmingham Jail 4). Dr. King describes the other viewpoint as, “The other force is one of bitterness and hatred and comes perilously close to advocating violence.” (Letter from Birmingham 4). He uses various black nationalist groups, one of them being Elijah Muhammad’s Muslim movement. He expresses that racial discrimination has caused the different viewpoints of violence to exist. Dr. King uses these to make the transition to his next

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