Why We Can 't Wait By Martin Luther King, Jr.

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In the narrative Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr., published in 1964, King describes the struggles African Americans faced to receive equal rights. During the 1960s the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. The year 1963 is referred to as the beginning of the “Negro Revolution”. In the introduction of this narrative King compares the lives of two African American children. By using one child from Harlem, New York and one from Birmingham, Alabama, King explains how they faced similar battles of poverty with limited opportunities. This showed how this problem was a national problem and not one that was just confined to the South. King used descriptive examples to explain the Civil Rights movement throughout this narrative. The two major themes throughout Why We Can’t Wait are racial discrimination and the use of nonviolence. The “Negro Revolution” erupted in 1963 for many reasons. Racial discrimination was at its peak after the Supreme Court Case, Brown vs. Board, was rejected in 1954. Racial integration was progressing slowly and King wanted to change this. He expressed his strong belief in unity when he said, “Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper” (3). With the Pupil Placement Law making segregation a larger problem, King felt African Americans had been denied equality for too long. However, he planned to give them their path to freedom, with the idea in mind that with numbers comes strength.
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