A Paragraph Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazingly inspirational civil rights demonstrator in the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. King believed in equality, that White people and Black people should be treated with the same respect. Dr. King’s ideas worked to push the Civil Rights movement forward. Because of his influence on an issue that was (and continues to be) controversial, Dr. King spent several nights in jail for his non-violent protests against racist inequality.

During one of Dr. King’s spells behind bars, in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. King wrote a letter to a select few who had criticized his protests in that city. Dr. King opens the letter with the line “My Dear Fellow Clergymen.” By using the words “my” and “fellow” in his opener, Dr. King works to make himself and the critics he speaks to as part of the same group, reaching over the barrier of race.

In his third paragraph of the letter, Dr. King writes, “But more basically, I am in Birmingham because there is injustice here.” This line is in reference to his previous two paragraphs where Dr. King had been explaining his reasoning for traveling to Birmingham to protest. Dr. King restates his reasoning as a simple ‘I am here because I am needed,’ in the line quoted.

Further down, Dr. King writes “Injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly… Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.” Here, Dr. King explains the ideology that brought him to Birmingham. He says that all acts of inequality affect every citizen of the country in which it occurs because all people are connected by common rule and common life.

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A Paragraph Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. (2023, Jan 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/a-paragraph-analysis-of-martin-luther-kings-letter-from-birmingham-jail/

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