Letter From A Birmingham Jail Essay

868 words - 4 pages

Matt Donoho
Eng 101
Calls for Peace
            The year was 1963.  African Americans were facing rough times throughout the United States, predominantly in the South, and in this year took a bolt stand against segregation.  Sit ins, boycotts, protests, and parades were carried out in peace, even though those who were being protested against were responding in violence and rage. In the town of Birmingham, Alabama the majority of these actions took place and caused an abundance of controversy.  A man known as Martin Luther King Jr. led these peaceful calls for change and during a march for desegregation on Good Friday, King was arrested and spent eight days in jail.  While confined King ...view middle of the document...

  He claims that by participating in direct action, eventually a negotiation will be found.  Also, he brings up that by confronting the issue head on with direct action that the real problem, segregation, cannot be ignored any further.    The word “tension” is seen as a positive factor by King because he feels that to solve problems, and form a better quality of life, or society, there must be something that starts it all.  This catalyst is “tension”.  To conclude on this topic King states the following:
“The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.  Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a traffic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.”
            Towards the middle of the clergy men’s letter they call King and his associates “outsiders” in the following statement:
“However, we are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders.  We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized.  But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely.”
            Not only are the clergy men stating that King and his associates should not be in Birmingham, but also that people are being impatient and should wait until the time is right to demonstrate.  They go on to say that these issues like these should be handled on a local level to accomplish any sort of long term goal.  In the last sentence the clergy men say the...

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