The Letter From A Birmingham Jail

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As an African American growing up in a multi-generational household I appreciated the stories my grandparents told me about the Civil Rights Movement through their eyes. They acknowledged that Martin Luther King was not just for people of color; but all human beings who were being treated unjustly. He is known for many speeches, but The Letter from a Birmingham Jail” written in 1963 was phenomenal in my opinion; this letter, written in response to “A Call for Unity,”(Carpenter et. el, 1963 ) an article written by eight, white, Alabama clergymen, was to serve as a response to those who believed that King acted inappropriately for coming to Birmingham, Alabama, as an outsider, for creating immense tension with his demonstrations, and for the inopportune timing of his marches. Even though, the clergymen agreed that social injustice did exist, it was their opinion that these types of matter should be handled in the judicial system rather than in the streets. It astonishes me how an individual can be so articulate and use various references to state his case. Furthermore, when he does give the reader reference; whether it’s religious base or past history from different era; he uses the material to correlate with his current predicament. This is an era were no internet was available. While I was reading the letter I kept wondering if he was a social worker in his pass life because he truly displays the six principles of the National Association of Social Work (NASW, 2008 p. 2)

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