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Analysis Of Martin Luther King's

1208 words - 5 pages

Convincing, Indefatigable and influential are the best adjectives to explain Letter from Birmingham Jail. Martin Luther King Jr's astuteness is enhanced by the astonishing capability to show the unkind and heartless attitude against black community. Throughout the whole writing to the eight clergymen Jr. never get too far from the clash for fairness in Birmingham.
As head of the South Christians Leadership Conferences (SCLC), Martin L. King, Junior., in the year 1963 acknowledged Birmingham, Alabama, as "possibly the most carefully segregated city in the United States". His decision to make Birmingham the next battlefield on which to implement his nonviolent civil disobedience strategy brought him condemnation and criticism from fellow clergymen, friends and enemies, black and white. Alabama, they argued, under the leadership of the new governor, Albert Boutwell, would be taking giant steps forward away from the racist and segregationist past promoted and maintained by former governor George Wallace. The prominent evangelist Bill Graham encouraged King to patiently wait, "to put the brakes on" (Miller, 69).
Indirectly identifying King and his supporters as outsiders, ignorant of Alabama's true internal affairs and new promise of progress, eight local fellow clergymen, convinced that the courts, not demonstrations, were the appropriate venues through which to effect change, made their convictions known; and the Birmingham News published their views and sentiments in a 13-paragraph article titled "White Clergymen Urge Local Negroes to Withdraw from Demonstrations," on April 13, 1963 (Branch, 285). The men challenged King, rebuking the Birmingham demonstration as "unwise and untimely". Perhaps more important, "the clergymen invoked their religious authority against civil disobedience," the very heartbeat of King's strategy, concluding the final lines of latters(Sernett, 98).
Angered by this rebuke, King, who did not make a habit of addressing his critics, responded by writing an open letter, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," from his prison cell on April 16, 1963, literally in the margins of the Birmingham News, on scraps of paper and on paper borrowed from his assistant, Clarence Jones, who then smuggled it out of the jail. Later published in King's collection of essays Why We Can't Wait (1963), "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" represents his most effective and convincing argument on the importance and moral justification of his nonviolent civil disobedience program and pronouncements during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. In it King argues from the fundamental premise that "injustice anywhere was a threat to justice everywhere" , making "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," in the end, perhaps the finest apologetic for the modern Civil Rights movement (Martin, 45).
King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" had "an instant and astonishing response; it was published in full in Liberation and The Christian Century as well as in Gandhi Marg. At...

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