Martin Luther King Jr. was a freedom fighter for the Black community’s civil rights during the peak of racial segregation in America. Unlike other Freedom fighters, King was known for his peaceful and nonviolent ways of opposing against discrimination. The “letter of Birmingham Jail” is a response to the clergymen’s protest of Martin Luther King’s campaign for equality.
The first half of the letter expounds on the reason behind their “civil disobedience” which is going against laws set by authority (Par. 17). For the Negro community has grown impatient waiting for the granting of equality. King justifies such action by explaining the difference of a just law from an unjust law. Since segregation is an unjust law that “degrades human personality” (Par. 13), It is his moral obligation to go oppose it. King believes that by accepting all the consequences “lovingly, openly and willingly.” He is actually paying his utmost respect to the law (Par. 16).
The second half of the letter, King confesses his discontentment with the White moderate and the Church. He says that their greatest drawback of this desired equality is the White moderate or those who are in neither end of the spectrum. The one that tends to be passive about the matter and tries to take part on both sides: Understanding the Negro communities’ aspirations but argues the right thing is for them to be patient (Par. 19). He also rebukes the church for their honoring such an unjust law; thus forgetting what it is to be a Christian.
He then ends his letter with his apologies and a bold claim. He apologizes that if ever he has exaggerated the facts, or the tone is of someone who is restless for justice. He then closes with an assertion that someday the Negro community will get its due justice for they too are part of America’s future just as they were part America’s founding.