Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered.
But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.
I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: Martin Luther King, Jr.
We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence.
For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church.
I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.
Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators.
Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil.
Moreover, this intervention by Kennedy gave the movement greater momentum. While the jails filled with peaceful blacks, King negotiated with white businessmen, whose stores were losing business due to the protests.
I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it.
It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience.
I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. He postponed his plans, however, to prevent them from affecting the local mayoral election, in which Bull Conner was a candidate.
Unlike the injunction in Albany, Georgia, however, this one came from a state court, not a federal one. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.
Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. King then enrolled in a graduate program at Boston Universitycompleting his coursework in and earning a doctorate in systematic theology two years later.
Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. I had hoped that each of you would understand. Martin Luther King, Jr.
But King succeeded in persuading them to his cause, and personally led a march on Good Friday, 12 April. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham.
In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound.
We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label.
For years now I have heard the word "Wait! On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work.
If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.
The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood.For whom did Martin Luther King Jr. craft his letter titled Letter from Birmingham Jail?
Eight clergymen. What persuasive elements does Martin Luther King Jr. use in his letter? Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Why did Martin Luther King Jr. take the time to write a letter to the clergymen? The document available for viewing above is from an early draft of the Letter, while the audio is from King’s reading of the Letter later.
Martin Luther King Jr. looks out the window of his cell at the Birmingham City Jail. The photo was taken by the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker in Octoberwhen both leaders served time in the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham.
"Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]" 16 April My Dear Fellow Clergymen: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Published in: King, Martin Luther Jr.
Page Editor. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Persuasion in “Letter From Birmingham Jail” After being arrested and imprisoned in Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr.
wrote one of his most famous works to the people of Birmingham, titled “Letter From Birmingham Jail on April 16, The Letter from Birmingham Jail, also known as the Letter from Birmingham City Jail and The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter written on April 16,by Martin Luther King Jr.
The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism.Download