Discussion Assignment 4:
Analyzing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, (1963) http://www.blackpast.org/primary/1963-martin-luther-king-jr-letter-birmingham-jail [Web Link]
In the spring of 1963, Dr. Kingan internationally recognized civil rights leader and activisttraveled to Birmingham, Alabama, to participate in non-violent protests against racism and segregation. Birmingham police arrested King during one of the protests. While King was in jail, several white ministers criticized him for being too extreme and aggressive in organizing against Jim Crow. The letter is Kings reply to the ministers, in which he outlines his vision of non-violent direct action and his goal of a more just society.
Please answer the following questions in an informal 1 – 2-page essay:
What did King mean by non-violent direct action? How did King justify his support for such action? Please give specific examples.
What did King mean when he wrote, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere? In your opinion, was he right? Why? Why not?
What did King mean by the term white moderates? Why was King so critical of them?
What were Kings larger goals to improve society? Looking out at the world today, do you think he succeed in achieving them?
Please conclude your essay with at least one question for discussion. Choose a question that you think will both enlighten and enliven your discussion section.