Civil Rights: King’s Letter to the Birmingham Jail

Subject: History
Pages: 1
Words: 294
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

In his Letter to the Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. aimed to answer the criticism of his actions from his fellow clergymen. King was troubled by the white moderates because he believed that their actions only impeded the establishment of equality and progress (King, 1963). According to King, law and order should serve as a foundation and main source of justice (King, 1963). However, the white moderates viewed laws only as a method of maintaining order and ignored the concerns and problems of the black community (King, 1963). King suggests that acts of civil disobedience should not be considered illegal because they promote the addressing of important issues and stimulate the start of negotiations (King, 1963). For example, such civil acts may involve marching on the streets to demonstrate protest and opposition to the authorities. This type of campaign can be successful if the protestors’ efforts attempt to reform unjust laws in a peaceful and non-violent manner.

Some of the modern civil rights struggles include discrimination against LGBT communities and people with disabilities, which results in their unemployment. King’s ideas are relevant to modern issues because they emphasize the importance of establishing laws that maintain justice and preserve the rights of people from different social backgrounds. According to King, freedom is granted to people who demand it in direct interaction with authorities (King, 1963). Therefore, King would support peaceful but decisive protests aimed at highlighting the issues that escaped the government’s notice, such as the unemployment of people with physical disabilities. If King lived in the modern era, he would support the movement to protect the rights of discriminated people. In addition, King would support their freedom to have employment in any working place where they might consider themselves to be professionally suitable.


King, M. L. (1963). Letter from a Birmingham jail. The University of Pennsylvania. Web.