In the essay “Let Justice Roll down”, Martin Luther King Jr wrote about the difficulties and social injustices faced by the negro population in America during the 1960’s. The main theme Dr. King was writing about in his yearly essay was the fight for civil justice and equality for all men and women. The essay chosen was written in 1965 and made very good points to the argument for equality made by Martin Luther King Jr. Three of these points included in the following paragraphs are the importance of Selma, AL to the rights movement, the importance of demonstrations, and a stronger focus on the Civil Rights Act.
On Good Friday, April 12, 1963, The police arrested and jailed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers for demonstrating against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. That same day, the local newspaper published a statement by eight prominent white Alabama clergymen that portrayed Dr. King as an outside agitator whose actions incite hatred and violence and as a result, urged the African American citizens of Birmingham to withdraw their support for the demonstrations and instead rely on the courts and negotiation the achieve change. Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” responds to this criticism and serves to awaken the American conscience to the injustice and marginalization that African Americans suffered in Birmingham, Alabama.
Montgomery’s group of civil rights advocates decided to dispute racial segregation on city buses after the arrest of Rosa Parks whom refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. The advocated created the Montgomery Improvement Association in order to boycott the transit system and King was chose as their leader. During his first speech king stated: “We have no alternative but to protest. For many years, we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.” On December 21st of 1956, the United States Supreme Court declared segregation on buses as unconstitutional and which allowed African Americans the same equality of Caucasians as they rode the bus. During this time, King’s was arrested, his home was dynamited and family was threatened but he still persevered and never gave in to using violence to demand what was right.
The 1960’s was a sad time when segregation existed. Although the colored people were technically free, were they really free? This time in history was filled with colored people being disgraced, threatened, held in captivity, and “vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sister” (King). Children ripped apart from their families, not being able to socialize with certain people, or even go to the local amusement park. It was a hard time to be a colored person, and there was one hope. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that one day blacks and whites could one day come together peacefully. King tried to do what he believed was right with everything in his will to finally join forces and not be talked down on by whites. In the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” he includes several events that affect not only him but thousands of others emotionally, he uses creative examples to get his points across, and lastly King includes multiple past and present historical facts.
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resolutely responds to eight clergymen who question his methods of protest against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Specifically, in paragraphs 12-14, Dr. King explains why his protests are indeed being done in a timely manner to obtain the “constitutional and God-given rights” (A Portable Anthology, page 207) that Africans have been restricted of for over 340 years. Dr. King’s argument, combined with his strategic use of rhetorical devices to enhance it, helps create a palpable feeling of understanding that captivates the audience into seeing America through his vision.
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a response to clergymen defending his actions that placed him in a jail in Birmingham, Alabama. King did not respond to all the criticism that crossed his desk, but this time King felt he was compelled to respond. This obligation King felt was due in part to men with good will and intentions stating that his actions were “unwise and untimely” (Pg. 835). King’s purpose in writing “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was to defend the strategy of nonviolent direct action in Birmingham and to justify the process and characteristics needed to attain the goals of both nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience in a just manner.
In Martin Luther King Jr.s book, Stride Toward Freedom, he has discussed how the people of oppression have dealt with the conditions they are being put in. Within the book King will explain three ways that people have chosen to handle the issue. Using chronological order, King will demonstrate his thesis that acquiescence, violence, and nonviolence are the three behaviors of the oppressed. Throughout the book the use of description, allusions, and word choice can all be found.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was successful because the protesters used nonviolence, the community helped each other, and the car pool was a major step in outcome. First of all, on March 22, 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. gives a speech and he states, “Democracy gives us this right to protest and that is all we are doing. We can say honestly that we have not advocated violence, have not practiced it, and have gone courageously on with a Christian movement”. This statement exemplifies that the protesters have done nothing wrong and they don’t plan on using violence. To continue, in a letter by Virginia Foster Durr written on January 30, 1956, she writes,“I think it is the first time that a whole Negro community has ever stuck together this way and
Since the Supreme Court case of Plessy Vs Ferguson way back in 1892, which ruled the separation of blacks and whites constitutional as long as all public facilities provided were “separate but equal,” the United States had been segregated. As with all other public facilities at the time, the busses in Montgomery Alabama were also subject to this segregation, and it wasn’t until 1956 with the beginning of what became to be known as the “Montgomery Bus
In the year of 1963 America was a horrible place to live for the African-American, as they had to fight, sometimes with words and some with fists, but they had to fight for the privilege of earning the right side of the hyphen. In the year of 1963 the African-American had to fight to earn the unalienable rights that they were supposedly guaranteed, Martin Luther King Jr. was just one leader for the African-Americans to unite behind and wage this “war” for their freedom. In this essay I will be showing ways that MLK used his words to attempt to earn African-Americans their rights.In the famous “I have a dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was addressed to a gigantic crowd of all races at the Lincoln memorial in Washington D.C. In the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” MLK is responding to criticism from 8 white clergymen while in jail in Birmingham, Alabama. In both of these selections MLK uses two types of
Many fantasize about invoking change in this world and to touch the hearts of it’s civilians, but few revolutionaries materialize these ambitions. Martin Luther King Jr. is a prolific figure of the civil rights movement whose non-violent words and protests became long-lasting staples of academia and elicited necessary conversations of the institutionalized racism that African Americans suffered through that conservative, white America feigned ignorance for a false sense of comfortability. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” King illustrates a rich vision for audiences detailing the mistreatment of African Americans in America’s segregation and the importance of non-violent protest to invoke change in a system that cared very little for the sentiments of the
One of the many influential people in American History was Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was a pastor in the Baptist faith, but he also was a leader in the advancement of colored people. During Dr. King’s time, segregation was at an all time high throughout the nation. But Dr. King, didn’t believe in violent protest, instead he insisted non-violent protest was the way to go. Dr. King held multiple speeches in multiple states about civil rights in America, until he reached the national level. On August
Dr. King’s earnest “Letter from Birmingham Jail” seeks to both justify the past and forthcoming actions being taken within the Civil Rights Movement as well as create an understanding of the importance and urgency of what was considered to most at the time a disruption of the public peace.
They struggled for equality and took part in some of the greatest civil rights movements ever known. Although the civil rights revolution came as a surprise, the causes fought for were necessary. According to Foner, “the United States in the 1950s was still a segregated, unequal society with half of the nation’s black families living in poverty.” (902) Many whites paid little attention to segregation because they felt it had no impact on their everyday lives. Segregation impacted blacks, especially in the South, on a daily basis. They had separate restrooms, drinking fountains, schools, entrances to public places, and were unable to enter many public institutions altogether. (902) The arrest of Rosa Parks sparked a year-long bus boycott and marked the beginning of the civil rights movement in the South. (904) With Martin Luther King Jr. leading the movement, the freedom of justice and equality finally seemed within reach. According to the text, “King was a master of appealing to the deep sense of injustice among blacks and to the conscience of white America. He presented the case for black rights in a vocabulary that emerged the black experience with that of the nation.” (906)
America in the 1960s was not the finest time for African Americans, especially in the South. There was racism, injustice and inequality. However, the ‘devotees’ of the civil rights movement were dedicated and passionate about making a difference. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of those pioneers that remained true in what he believed in no matter what the circumstance.