Why We Can't Wait - Letter from Birmingham Jail Summary & Analysis

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Letter from Birmingham Jail Summary and Analysis

On April 16, 1963, MLK replies to a joint critical statement of eight Alabama clergymen from different denominations. They criticize King's actions as "unwise and untimely." He thinks they are of good will and sincere so he replies. While in jail he answers their critical comments about his efforts in detail. Specifically, he replies to being called an "outsider" by his invitation from a local affiliate of S.C.L.C. that he presides over. Fundamentally however, he makes a biblical and moral claim that any injustice in Birmingham threatens justice everywhere so there are no "outside agitators." He tells them their concern about demonstrating is better used in correcting the conditions that Negroes endure.

Four specific steps support activity in a non-violent program. They include fact-finding to confirm injustice, negotiation, self-purification and finally direct action. The...

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This section contains 470 words
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Buy the Why We Can't Wait Study Guide
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