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Letter From Birmingham Jail PDF
[PDF] Letter From Birmingham Jail PDF
Author: Martin Luther King, Jr
No. Of Pages: 06
PDF Size: 182 KB
Language: English
Category: General
Source: Drive Files
Letter From Birmingham Jail PDF

Letter From Birmingham Jail PDF

When police used dogs and fire hoses on protestors in Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963, King’s campaign to remove segregation at lunch counters and in employment practises garnered national attention. King and a significant number of his followers, including hundreds of youngsters, were imprisoned. His supporters did not include all of Birmingham’s Black clergy, and he was opposed by the white clergy who had released a statement asking African Americans not to participate in the protests. From the Birmingham prison, King sent an eloquent letter in which he outlined his nonviolent philosophy:

Near the conclusion of the Birmingham campaign, King joined other civil rights leaders in planning the historic March on Washington to bring together the many forces for nonviolent change and to emphasise to the country and the world the necessity of fixing the US racial crisis. On August 28, 1963, a peaceful multiracial gathering of over 200,000 people assembled in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial to demand equal justice under the law for all residents. The emotional power and prophetic character of King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” address, in which he underlined his hope that all men will one day be brothers, inspired the audience.

The rising tide of civil rights agitation had the desired effect on public opinion, resulting in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which authorized the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawed discrimination in publicly owned facilities and employment. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to King in Oslo in December, capping up a remarkable year. In his acceptance speech, King remarked, “I accept this honor today with an undying trust in America and a daring hope in the destiny of humanity.” “I refuse to believe that man’s current nature’s ‘cisness’ renders him ethically incapable of reaching out for the everlasting ‘roughness’ that always confronts him.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historical importance and legacy

King remained the most well-known African American leader of his time in the years after his death. The establishment of a national holiday in his honor in the United States, as well as the construction of a King monument on the Mall in Washington, D.C., near the Lincoln Memorial, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, reinforced his status as a key historical figure. King celebrations have been established in several states and towns, as have public sculptures and paintings of him, as well as streets, schools, and other institutions named after him. These commemorations have centered on King’s work as a civil rights activist rather than his contentious statements denouncing American engagement in Vietnam and advocating for the Poor People’s Campaign during his last year.

Critics used FBI surveillance files to show that King was an adulterous extremist inspired by communists, but the King holiday campaign beat them. Although the public discussion about King’s legacy was spurred by the release of these papers through the Freedom of Information Act in the 1970s, the vast archives that currently exist chronicle King’s life and philosophy and have generated countless academic studies presenting balanced and thorough viewpoints. Bearing the Cross (1986) by David J. Garros and Parting the Waters (1988) by Taylor Branch both received Pulitzer Prizes for their portrayals of King. Following books and articles reaffirmed King’s historical importance while portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible, and limited in his control over the mass movements with which he was associated, but also a visionary leader dedicated to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.

Efforts to memorialize King’s life started almost immediately after his killing, despite the fact that the notion of a King national holiday did not win major legislative support until the late 1970s. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan proposed a King holiday measure in 1968. After the newly established Congressional Black Caucus included the holiday in its reform agenda, the proposal started to gain political traction. While serving as the founding president of the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change (later renamed the King Center), which became one of the major archives of King’s papers, Coretta Scott King played a key role in mobilizing public support for the King holiday campaign.

Despite the conservative tendency in American politics in the 1980s, which would have made it difficult to recognise the accomplishments of a contentious activist, King holiday proponents secured political support by presenting him as a symbol of the country’s development in racial relations. Stevie Wonder, a renowned homage to King, contributed to the effort by composing and recording “Happy Birthday.” The 20th Anniversary March on Washington, which attracted a larger throng than the initial march, included Coretta Scott King and Stevie Wonder in 1983.

After the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved Sen. Ted Kennedy’s King holiday bill, President Ronald Reagan set aside his reservations and signed the law on November 3, 1983, creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which would be observed annually on the third Monday in January. Coretta Scott King also got legislative permission to create the King Federal Holiday Commission, which would arrange yearly events starting January 20, 1986, to urge “Americans to reflect on the ideas of racial equality and peaceful social change preached by Dr. King.”

The King national holiday did not put an end to debate about King’s legacy, but it did help to solidify his standing as an American icon over time. The early 1990s discovery that King plagiarised some of his scholarly papers, as well as the periodic issues surrounding his successors, did nothing to diminish King’s ongoing effect on the nation. Members of King’s fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, advocated a permanent monument in Washington, D.C. even before the first King national holiday. That project had received official clearance for the location on the Tidal Basin, near the Mall, before the end of the twentieth century. In the year 2000, ROMA Design Group won an international design competition with their idea. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Monument Project Foundation collected more than $100 million to create and maintain the memorial. Other nations celebrated commemorations of King’s life, and in 2009, a congressional delegation flew to India to honour the 50th anniversary of King’s visit to the “Land of Gandhi.”

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