Why We Can't Wait Themes

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Using nonviolent methods to force social change

MLK admits the violent methods used by armies of the North and South in the American Civil War result in a declaration that Negro slaves are free. However, one hundred years later in 1963 the Emancipation Proclamation is not fully implemented. Social constraints like segregated schools, hospitals and cemeteries "keep the Negro in his place." Menial, low-paying jobs and the threat of jail continue the effects of slavery. Jailed Negroes out of public view are at risk from southern police acting like slaveholders by abusing them. Fear of jail threatens Negroes to keep their place and stay out of jail.

Social change is necessary to implement Negro emancipation. MLK cites the examples of early Christians against the Roman Empire and Gandhi in India against the British Empire to illustrate effective nonviolent methods. King promotes nonviolent action as a way to support change in...

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This section contains 1,083 words
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