Martin Luther King Jr., was a civil rights activist who spoke freely about civil disobedience in the Letter from Birmingham Jail while he was locked up for civilly disobeying the law. He was writing to eight white clergymen that also felt that many of the laws were unjust, however they showed agreement with Socrates by stating that he should not disobey the laws. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “one has a moral responsibility to disobey just laws because if we did not disobey them then unjust acts would continue to occur, causing our country to be harmed”. He also stated that “an unjust law is no law at all”. Martin Luther King Jr. did believe that laws were setup and enforced to assist and support the residents of the state however, if a law was unfair or unconstitutional, then the law would
Furthermore, a person who acts with civil disobedience means, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “One who breaks an unjust law… openly, lovingly…, and with a willingness to accept the penalty”. In other words, civil disobedience is respectfully breaking a law that is disagreed with, and then openly accepting the consequence. During the world’s history,
Feeling the blast of a hose, watching dogs bite people, and routinely receiving insults all happen during the civil rights movement of 1960s. The film Glory Road shows the story of Texas Western University’s journey to the NCAA Championship with a lineup of five African Americans during the civil rights controversy of the 1960s. The championship lineup includes Harry Flournoy, a colored player from Gary Indiana who helps lead the team to a national title. During this controversy colored people choose between the ideas of Malcolm X and self defense and pride in yourself or Martin Luther King Jr and. civil disobedience to earn civil rights While Martin Luther King in “Letter to Birmingham City Jail” provides a good idea of using civil disobedience to earn civil rights, Malcolm X in “On African Self-Hatred” reflects the actions Harry Flournoy from Glory Road throughout the whole film.
Within Letter from a Birmingham Jail, MLK describes the four-step plan one must follow to carry on a nonviolent campaign. Antigone’s actions throughout Antigone carefully mimic those steps. Throughout the story you can consider Antigone’s actions to be part of a nonviolent campaign. MLK says that, “In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action” (paragraph six). Antigone determined there was an injustice committed when Creon’s edict decreed that no one would be able to bury her brother Polyneices or they face a punishment by death. Antigone finds this to be an injustice, when she asks for help from her sister Ismene she says, “…And now you can prove what you are: A true sister, or a traitor to your family.” (Antigone 26-27). Once captured by the Sentry she negotiates with Creon, attempting to appeal to him so he is able to understand her reverence for the dead is what god wants (lines 355-420). Within self-purification Antigone undergoes strong emotions that could be alluded to feelings of suicide and depression. All she wants is to bury Polyneices and not let this injustice go unnoticed. She is willing to go to great lengths to fight for what she believes in and the extent she goes to stand up for what she believes is the act of self-purification MLK talks about. Her direct action is
In King’s mind, being civilly disobedient means going against, or protesting, unjust laws or social norms for the betterment of society. In order to be civilly disobedient, one must always stay true to their beliefs, take responsibility for any and all their actions, be open to public criticism, and be non-violent in their executions. The goal to King is that, “it seeks so to dramatize the issue that can no longer be ignored” (King 37). To King, nonviolence campaigns are what forces people to negotiation. Its strain allows people to hear the voices of equality and forces them to negotiation. King states that, “As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise,” which is a sign that without direct action from the oppressed, nothing will change within society (King 36). This nonviolence to King is “necessary for growth” for it helps the oppressed to rise up against unjust laws to the heights understanding and brotherhood (King 37).
As a result of racist laws that forced blacks to be segregated and refused them their right to peacefully protest, Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960’s, was considered the most racist part of the United States and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked towards removing segregation laws from being enforced. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. publicly addressed the issue of racism on a religious, political, and social aspect by addressing his letter to the clergymen, disobeying the law through nonviolent civil disobedience, and expressing disappointment when he did not receive support from the white moderate, respectively. Advocating against the extreme racial injustice in Birmingham, Dr. King’s support of St. Augustine’s belief that “an unjust law is no law at all” caused a controversial debate across the country over who has the authority to decide which laws should be disobeyed (King 3). Although Dr. King addressed his letter to the white clergymen, his target audience was to the entire white moderate of the country whom he hoped would help him gain support in order to change unjust laws that promote segregation and refuse citizens of their First Amendment rights to a peaceful protest (King 4). Dr. King was looking for support from other members of society in order to create an effective change in society’s ethics. Moreover, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s large audience and public movement used nonviolent
Martin Luther King, Jr. defines “civil disobedience” as a way to show others what to do when a law is unjust and unreasonable. As King stated in the letter from Birmingham, “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” When Negros were being treated unfairly, Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped in to show people how to peacefully protest and not be violent. The dictionary definition of civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest (Webster Dictionary). That is what Martin Luther King, Jr. did when nothing was changing in the town after the law for public school to be non-segregated. In
“Civil Disobedience” is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau in 1848. Thoreau protested many issues at the time such as slavery, the Mexican war, and taxes; he stood for peaceful protests or civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is the act of publicly, peacefully, and conscientiously breaching any corrupt and or unequal law(s) in order to bring about a change in said law or policy. Almost one hundred years later, on April 16th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr wrote the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail;” a response to a public statement of concern and caution issued by eight white religious leaders of the South. King, in the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” conveys to his readers that the laws set against the African American are unjust and
Civil disobedience is defined as the refusal to obey the demands or certain laws of a government/ occupying power. Without resorting to violence or active events of conflict, it is typically used in the form of a peaceful protest. Civil disobedience has been seen in historical context as a main approach and philosophy of nationalist movements in Africa, India, and also in the American civil rights movement. It can also be a useful tactic in labor, anti-war, and other social movements occurring in numerous countries around the world. In both Sophocles’ Antigone and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, the author describes two very different displays of civil disobedience. Antigone disobeyed “man’s law” and buried her brother. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the other hand, fought to change the law for the rights of a large group of people. For this reason, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s efforts were more admirable than the efforts of Antigone.
Civil Disobedience is defined as refusal to obey civil laws or decrees, which usually takes the form of direct action (Grolier’s Encyclopedia Online 2). Thoreau wrote that people practicing civil disobedience, break a law because they consider the law unjust. People want to call attention to its injustice. Thoreau voiced civil disobedience as, “An expression of the individual’s liberty to create change” (Thoreau 530). Years later Martin Luther King Jr. took the same idea of direct action to protest the injustices brought upon black Americans in the United States. One major example was the Birmingham bus boycott. Blacks where treated unjust and often had to give up their seats to whites, and had to listen to racial slurs made by the bus driver. King like Thoreau, did not take a violent approach, he often used sit-ins and rallies to unite the black community (Encarta
Antigone and King’s views on civil disobedience are executed very differently. They both had their own purpose to follow what they believed in, but both were achieved differently. Martin Luther King Jr. followed his own beliefs to risk his life while Antigone risked her life to follow the Gods for honor just to make sure her brother was properly buried. I will show how Martin Luther King Jr. fought for freedom while risking his life for blacks not only in Birmingham Alabama, but also around the world. Also, how Antigone knew the consequences she would face to give her brother a proper burial, but still fought for what was right
“A very few—as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men—serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it,” Henry Thoreau claimed in his essay, “Civil Disobedience.” Martin Luther King Jr. indisputably served the people of the state by his own conscience and was definitely treated as an enemy. “We want to be free!” King cried out during his “I've Been to the Mountaintop” speech. It didn't matter that it was seen as an evil act against the men in charge to him. “Civil disobedience” immensely impacted Martin Luther King and supported his views and drive that lead to the Civil Rights Movement.
An important concept from Dr. King’s letter is civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is when someone intentionally refuses to abide by specific laws, demands, and commands of someone in charge. Civil disobedience is when one decides to prioritize their conscience rather than to listen to rules. I consider just and unjust laws a valid argument for civil disobedience to a certain point. I find it hard to argue because I believe that some people may take advantage of this concept. I believe that under certain conditions, it is okay, to break the law, as long as it is for the better of the people, earth, or another important factor in quality of life relating to a person, animal or planet life. Personally, I believe that if someone has a strong grasp on human emotions, and comprehends that other humans have the same emotions, such as, we feel the same feelings (physical or psychological), then breaking the law in the name of “moral law”, could be an action that they could take. For example, if someone is robbing an innocent mother as she loads her children into their car, I see nothing wrong with that mother grabbing a
Not only were many laws changed and created, but even more were broken in an attempt to better our once unjust society. Martin Luther King Jr., arguably the most influential leader of this movement, was an avid supporter of civil disobedience during this era. He participated in countless sit-ins and protests, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956, in which he and almost one hundred other activists were arrested for peacefully protesting discrimination in the Montgomery public transit system. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, written in 1963 after he was arrested for partaking in a nonviolent protest, King offers explanation as to why he practices civil disobedience and what he hopes to achieve in doing so. In this letter, King admits, “In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law…that would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty”. However, he also stated that in this fight, it is necessary to “[stand] up for what is best in the American…thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence”. In his words, civil disobedience is more than ignorance of law; it is just one of the necessary measures that must be taken to restore equality in a