Letter from Birmingham Jail Essay Analysis

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr addresses several clergymen in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. The clergymen comprised of the clergymen as well as the entire Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) when they were holding protests in Birmingham. The clergymen enlisted seven criticisms against Dr. Martin Luther and he was responding by informing them of their upsets and was directly responding to their issues. The first issue he addresses is their claim that Dr. Luther King is an outsider interested in causing trouble in Birmingham with malicious intentions. Using a language termed as clear-cut and without emotional intonation, he tells the clergy that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) has its headquarters in Atlanta but runs operations in the entire South (Davis, 2014, 171). They were in Birmingham courtesy of an invitation from one of the groups affiliated to the SCLC.

In itself, this was a satisfactory answer to their first concern. Furthermore, Dr. King explains to the clergymen the process and value of organizing non-violent demonstrations. Internal issues affecting the SCLC were among others exercising racism within the organization besides holding private negotiations with white businesspersons. Failed agreements between the officials of the SCLC and the business tycoons caused the SCLC leaders to resort to direct confrontations purporting to demand for the rights of the minority blacks South (Davis, 2014, 182). The mayoral elections in Birmingham forced the leaders to suspend the direct protests. However, the fall of Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor did not ease matters as his successor Albert Boutwell was his replica. By offering a moral lesson to the clergymen, Dr. King succeeds in justifying his presence in Alabama. As much as he comprehends the reason behind the negotiation efforts by the clergymen, Dr. King maintains his stand and ensures they do understand his position.


Works Cited
Davis, Lincoln. Analysis of the Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King. Harvard: Harvard University Press. 2014. Print.

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