Martin Luther King 's Letter From Birmingham Jail

1860 Words Jun 6th, 2016 8 Pages
Civil disobedience as identified by Martin Luther King is a form of direct action, and an outright refusal to conform to laws as a form of protest. Martin Luther King addresses this method of resistance in his text, “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Martin Luther King Jr personally drafted the text as a response to criticisms made in a statement by clergymen whom apposed King’s nonviolent methods of resistance to continuous issues of racism occurring in Birmingham, Alabama. As expressed by King and described in his text, civil disobedience should meet certain criteria to be considered so. One of these criteria is that the law being disobeyed should be unjust. Also, according to King, this direct action should be non-violent, as this was the basis of his teachings. Furthermore, the individual should be aware of consequences, and willingly accept them as he/she performs this act of civil disobedience. Finally, there must be no alternative to this act, meaning that some form of protest must have been attempted in the past, to no avail. Consequently, the only alternative would be to break the unjust law at hand. Martin Luther King executed this form of action in his efforts to challenge racism in Birmingham Alabama. Similarly, famous fighter Muhammad Ali used the same tactic in order to achieve justice decades later. Muhammad Ali bravely refused to be drafted during the Vietnam war because of his religious beliefs and was therefore convicted of violating the selective service laws.…
Open Document