Letter from a Birmingham Jail

  1. #1
    nWo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 01
    Location
    Richmond,KY
    Posts
    39,302

    Letter from a Birmingham Jail

    For those who may be interested. A good read that explains the reasons for some to protest.

    Letter from a Birmingham Jail
    Advertisement

  2. #2
    theguru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 00
    Location
    Florence
    Posts
    134,617

    From the link:

    by Martin Luther King, Jr.

    From the Birmingham jail, where he was imprisoned as a participant in nonviolent demonstrations against segregation, Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote in longhand the letter which follows. It was his response to a public statement of concern and caution issued by eight white religious leaders of the South. Dr. King, who was born in 1929, did his undergraduate work at Morehouse College; attended the integrated Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, one of six black pupils among a hundred students, and the president of his class; and won a fellowship to Boston University for his Ph.D.

    WHILE confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling our present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom, if ever, do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all of the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would be engaged in little else in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I would like to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

    I think I should give the reason for my being in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the argument of "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every Southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliate organizations all across the South, one being the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Whenever necessary and possible, we share staff,educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago our local affiliate here in Birmingham invited us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hourc ame we lived up to our promises. So I am here, along with several members of my staff, because we were invited here. I am here because I have basic organizational ties here.

    Beyond this, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the eighth-century prophets left their little villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns; and just as the Apostle Paul left his little village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to practically every hamlet and city of the Greco-Roman world, I too am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my particular hometown. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

    Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider.

    You deplore the demonstrations that are presently taking place in Birmingham. But I am sorry that your statement did not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the demonstrations into being. I am sure that each of you would want to go beyond the superficial social analyst who looks merely at effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. I would not hesitate to say that it is unfortunate that so-called demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham at this time, but I would say in more emphatic terms that it is even more unfortunate that the white power structure of this city left the Negro community with no other alternative.

  3. #3
    lawildcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 10
    Location
    The Compound
    Posts
    18,102

    Just imagine what would have been had MLK not been cut down in his prime as well as the prime of the civil rights movement. Other leaders will come and go but there will never be another as special as him.

  4. #4
    oldgrappler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 14
    Location
    NKY
    Posts
    2,790

    Dr. King said many great things but this goes beyond greatness to prophetic. I've read it before and I shall read it again.


    In case anyone wonders, by prophetic I do not mean predictive. I mean it is as if God gave him those words to speak to an unjust situation that required action and change.

Top