Why We Can't Wait Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In his letter, MLK states that he has heard the word "Wait!" for years and that this word "Wait!" has always meant what?

2. What kind of pace does MLK say they are taking to gain a cup of coffee at a lunch counter?

3. When the young Negro started to ask someone to save him in the room filling with poisonous gas, why does MLK state that that person would care if the young Negro died?

4. A day was set as "D" day, when students would go to jail in historical numbers. What day was "D" day?

5. President Kennedy once said something to MLK in the White House about not being too harsh on the judgment of someone. Who was the person that President Kennedy was speaking about?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does MLK answer the questions of the clergymen of "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Aren't negotiations better?"

2. When MLK talks about the number of S.C.L.C. affiliates jumping from 85 to 100, he mentions that more than one million Americans attended solidarity demonstrations in what cities?

3. Why does MLK state that they could thank the segregationists for the revolution that started in Birmingham?

4. What did MLK wonder about the media writers when they accused the campaign officials of "using" their children "in this fashion"?

5. In "Letter from Birmingham Jail," who is the letter addressed to and why is it written?

6. What did MLK and the S.C.L.C. officers want to do to bring a new dynamic to the campaign that would receive criticism?

7. What did scientific observers place in the sealed death chambers where poison gas was to be administered to the victims of capital punishment?

8. Why does MLK state that "we were all involved with" John F. Kennedy's death?

9. What did approximately 125 business leaders see when they left for lunch during the May 7th Senior Citizens Committee meeting?

10. Why does MLK state that no revolution is like a ballet?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The book, Why We Can't Wait, is written by Martin Luther King, Jr. about the time of the civil rights movement during the 1960s in which Birmingham became the center of attention for the nation to watch those "fighting" for freedom. How do you think MLK's perspective on the details of these events affected the reader of the book? How would the details of the events be told differently if we were reading a book by Bull Connor? How about a book by Jesse Jackson? Explain your answers and use evidence from the book to support those answers.

Essay Topic 2

Why do you think MLK begins the book the way he does? Does that help the reader "dive into" the full meaning? What do you think the purpose of telling us about the Negro boy and girl? What kinds of feelings do these "characters" evoke in the reader? Do you think there was any other effective way of beginning the book? If so, what other ideas do you have for an introduction? Do you think the introduction was perfect in creating the intended mood?

Essay Topic 3

In "The Sword That Heals," MLK talks about the Negro population accepting nonviolent direct action. Why does he state that this took a certain sophistication on the part of the Negroes? What things does MLK state were ingrained in them and in society as a whole that made it so hard for the resistance of violence? Why do you think Negroes were ready to do anything for freedom? When they marched they did not back down. Why do you think that is? Do you think the guidance of MLK and other strong leaders helped the Negro population believe in what they were marching for? If so, how?

(see the answer keys)

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