The Letter From Birmingham Jail By Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Letter from Birmingham Jail is a letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. on April 16, 1963 while he was incarcerated in Birmingham jail for taking part in outlawed demonstrations. The letter states the importance of nonviolent resistance to segregation, and the difference between just and unjust laws. In response to King being an outsider, King responded by saying, that the residents of Birmingham had invited him to Birmingham. He took to nonviolent demonstrations since blacks including himself were discriminated in public schools, buses, and washrooms. The letter was as a response to "A Call for Unity" letter written by eight white clergymen, who stated that a fight against segregation ought to be taken to the courts rather than to the streets. The clergymen’s letter urged blacks not to support Martin Luther’s demonstrations. Whereas King believed people should negotiate with local leaders and take their cases to courts, this path failed due to unjust laws and the community’s indifference to criminalizing segregation. …show more content…

In response to the clergymen’s statement, King Jr. stated that the demonstrators are not outsiders. King was in Birmingham because he was invited to Birmingham, According to Openheimmer (1992): Several months ago, the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here I am here because I have organizational ties here.” But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. The clergymen commended the local media, law enforcers, and the community for the way in which they handled the demonstrations-with calm. However, in response to this claim, Martin Luther argues that he doubts the clergy would go praise the police if they had seen the police committing atrocities against Negroes. Colaiaco (1984)

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