Letter From Birmingham Jail Essay Summary

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At the time, it gave a singular, eloquent voice to a massive, jumbled movement.

Once King was released from jail, the protests assumed a larger scale and a more confrontational character.

He had been holding off, preoccupied by the Cold War, but Birmingham had pressed the issue.

Kennedy's commitment culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson after Kennedy's assassination.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." When King says this he "The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter." In the paragraph that follows he reveals to outsiders what real life is like as a colored person living in a white world.

If unjust laws are broken openly and intentionally and are done willing to accept the punishment then you have the highest respect for the law.At the suggestion of SCLC member Jim Bevel, the organizers began to recruit younger protestors.They visited high schools, training youth in nonviolent tactics.His uses of elements such as allusion, rhetorical questions and juxtaposition all tied in with an element of hope to create a gripping argument for equality.Not just equality in Birmingham, but equality everywhere in the entire world.In a day or two the protests had become so massive and volatile that the City was willing to negotiate.It listened to the demands of the SCLC, and set a schedule for the desegregation of lunch counters and other facilities. During that time he composed his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." The letter was ostensibly conceived in response to a letter that had recently run in a local newspaper, which had claimed that the protests were "unwise and untimely"; however, King also quite deliberately wrote his letter for a national audience.The letter reveals King's strength as a rhetorician and his breadth of learning.The act mandated federally what had in Birmingham been won locally: a white commitment to desegregation and equal employment opportunities.It also gave the federal government power to enforce desegregation laws in schools by withholding funds from noncompliant districts.


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