Letter from Birmingham Jail Analysis Questions



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Letter from Birmingham Jail Analysis Questions


  1. What are King’s reasons for being in Birmingham? He was a President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was invited to Alabama to be a part of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.




  1. How does he answer the charge of being an outsider? Martin Luther King is scolded soley for the fact that his birthplace happened to be Atlanta and not Birmingham.

  2. What does the following quote mean for Birmingham citizens? What does it mean for each of us today? “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” This quote symbolizes that when Birmingham changes, the rest of the country can change. Every thing will have to start in that city.

  3. What are the four basic steps of nonviolent direct action?

  4. Why did King and others decide to delay their actions?’

  5. What does King mean by “constructive nonviolent tension” and now does he define its goal?

  6. Choose an example from U.S. History which represents the “painful experience that freedom is voluntarily given by the oppressor.”

  7. Choose another example from history which illustrates his point that”justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

  8. Choose from King’s list of injustices and compare three of them to the Bill of Rights or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  9. How does King define the two types of law; just and unjust?

  10. Give an example of present day law you might feel a moral obligation to disobey.

  11. Must we obey laws we do not participate in creating? Why or why not?

  12. Why does King think breaking an unjust law “lovingly” would be an expression of respect for the law?

  13. What does King warn will happen if the Negro community is not allowed to demonstrate through nonviolent actions? Is this a threat?

  14. Why does King welcome the label extremist?

Create a new page on your Wiki site entitled MLK. . Choose a favorite quote form the “Letter” and connect this to your life or issues in your community today. Choose one quotation from the letter for each of the following themes: Justice, Transformation and Reconciliation. Choose a photo to compliment each of the quotations either from the Birmingham study or of a current issue in our community or world today. Be creative-Let the powerful visual images you choose communicate the power of your message.


Option: You may create a poster size visual following the same instructions if you prefer using materials other than the computer.


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