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Letter from Birmingham Jail - Essay Example

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Summary
“Letter from Birmingham Jail” The name Martin Luther King itself recalls a remarkable era of reformation in the religion of Christianity. His contributions deserve high appraisal since he served the society as an American Clergyman, an activist, reformer and a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement…
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Letter from Birmingham Jail

Download file to see previous pages... During the period of Martin Luther King, American society witnessed unethical, incredible and pathetic practice of discrimination between the white and black. Although this discrimination resulted in dissatisfaction among the Negros, their inefficiency and helplessness restricted them from taking any steps to break the bondage. They were treated as aliens in their own region, deprived of all sorts of freedom. Their religious churches and worship centers were also destroyed. Luther clearly explains why he has visited Birmingham. It is stated that the situation in the locality was worse and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights could not resist the power of the authority. Hence, they invited him to overcome the existing crisis. The letter says that “several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary” (King). He convinces the clergymen that being entrusted with mission of working for the society, he has desperately moved to the land so that he could uplift it. And now he is confined to his activities he had undertaken, and this he attributes to the unjust act of the ruling power. Moreover, he expresses dissatisfaction as he justifies the responsibility stating that he cannot sit idle or remain blind to the injustice happening to his fellow citizens. Every act is intention oriented. Similarly, this ‘Letter from Birmingham’ also intends a group of people, and they are none other than the clergymen. The reason behind writing the letter is to convince them why he has undertaken such movements. It is precisely to defend the criticism raised by the religious heads and his fellow clergymen. It clearly illustrates that the religions neither initiated nor allowed others to do so. Eventually, Luther does not simply target a few of the clergymen but the entire Christianity for being neutral to the situation. It is not a criticism against the religion but a reminder of the unfair ignorance or negligence of basic responsibility the church displays. Luther is to point that the religion should understand the racial injustice or discrimination and react against it effectively. Since the church is his intended audience, indirectly he questions the responsibilities of the church. Luther strongly holds his view and answers his fellow clergymen who addressed his activities as ‘unwise and untimely’. Moreover, he shows his dedication to the asserted task by stating it beautifully “Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas” (King). Apart from this, Luther tells the clergymen who are the intended audience that if he and secretaries keep on answering the criticism placed on the table then there would have been no time to involve in the activities planned. And, he also states that what they have contributed is just criticisms; and it is evident from his statement, “you deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham” (King). What Luther could not tolerate is the comment made by the church on police force in a positive sense without understanding the real miseries of the Negros. Luther is takes a challenge since he is criticized for his timely actions as untimely. And he conveys the message that he would take further ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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