Letter from Birmingham Jail

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Annotated Bibliography

King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 16 Apr. 1963. Essential Documents of American History. Comp. Norman P. Desmarais and James H. McGovern. N.p.: Great Neck, n.d. N. pag. EBSCO History Reference Center. Web. 10 Oct. 2010. . This is the text of the famous letter written by Martin Luther King, Jr. from Birmingham Jail. It is a primary source. He wrote it as a reply to white clergymen who urged civil rights leaders to fight their battles in the courts and not through demonstrations. This letter helped me to understand what MLK stood for and his beliefs. I will use quotes from this letter in my paper.

Oakes, Karen. “Individual Prosperity and the American Dream.” Beacham’s Encyclopedia of Social Change: America in the Twentieth Century. Ed. Veryam Khan. Vol. 2. Nokomis: Beacham, 2001. 872. Print. This is from a reference set that traces social thought across the decades of 20th century America. Oakes is a history instructor at the State University of New York at Oswego. This article focuses on the prosperity of individuals and how they achieved the American Dream. This is helpful in showing how they contributed to the growth of the country during this time period.

Padgett, Tim, and Frank Sikora. “The Legacy of Virgil Ware: Forty Years Ago This Month, Four Black Girls Died in the Birmingham Church Bombing. Another Child Was Murdered That Day. Here Is His Story.” Time 22 Sept. 2003: 52. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Oct. 2010. . This article from Time, the largest weekly news magazine, discusses the murder of 16-year old Virgil Ware on the same day of the Birmingham church bombing that killed 4 girls. His murder by a white teen went unpunished but what happened in Birmingham that day brought the civil rights movement to the attention of the nation. By the next summer, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed.

Ward, Brian. “Recording the Dream.” History Today 48.4 (1998): 23+. Academic OneFile. Web. 12 May 2008. . History Today is an academic journal published in London and features historical essays written by world-wide scholars. This article is written by a History lecturer at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. It discusses the little-known history of Martin Luther King Jr.’s recorded speeches & sermons and his relationship with the recording industry. A company sold bootleg recordings without compensating MLK, but he later negotiated a deal with black-owned Motown that would give all profits to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). This impressed the owner of Motown, Berry Gordy, but he would later struggle with balancing his interests in helping the movement and the desire to profit. This article was interesting, especially learning that Gordy was the person who named the famous speech “I Have a Dream” but I am not sure if I will use it in my paper.

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