Letter from Birmingham Jail Essay

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Race. It is a word that is associated with many thoughts, words, and emotions. The color of peoples' skin is the first thing that is noticed. Throughout history people have judged and mistreated because they were of the wrong race. A prime example of this is the racial tension between blacks and whites. The driving force behind this tension is the past. For many years blacks were mistreated and abused based solely on the color of the skin. In Martin Luther King J.R.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail", he uses references to the past and people of the past to strengthen his point. The actions in the past and present can affect the future. In "Letter from Birmingham Jail", King uses references to Saints, philosophers of the past, and…show more content…
By using the past events he could better empower his people to become independent. Throughout his lifetime, King worked hard to end segregation and try to break down the walls between the blacks and whites. He was faced with an enormous amount of opposition. King and those who followed him had to face beatings, verbal lashings, and public embarrassment. He had to look to the past and at the words of great men before him to find the strength to endure. Like Socrates, King felt that he had to create a "constructive, nonviolent tension necessary for growth" (WoI pg. 156). Throughout the years there have been many great advancements to break down the barriers between the races. However, the past is a reoccurring issue that draws away from each step forward. Black people today are still crying for freedom because they still feel that are being oppressed by the white nation. Many people in the black community have begun to use the terrible events of the past as leverage against the white community. As race relations becomes more prevalent issue, the government has tried to take steps to to find a balance between the two races. The whites are now finding themselves to be the ones who are negatively affected by the color of their skin. History has begun to haunt the people of today. They are having to live with the lasting effects of those people and events

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