Explain what Civil Disobedience Essay is and how it is illustrated in
Martin Luther King’s letter from Birmingham Jail.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
“Any law the degrades a person in order to inflate another
person to some perceived superiority”
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never
voluntary given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the
These just three of the many notable lines Mr. Martin Luther
King Jr. wrote in his well-known and recognized “Letter from the
The letter written in response to the fellow
clergymen after they stated that his parading was untimely and
unwise. They went on to call him and instigator.
Mr. King was a leader in the African American movement to change
the segregated south. Invoking a tactic know as Civil
Disobedience, Civil disobedience originated as a Concord Lyceum
lecture delivered by Henry David Thoreau on January 26,
1848.This disobedience is form of protest where people violate a
laws they consider unjust.
The civil part of the tactic is just
that, civil, not violet. Mohandas K Gandhi used the same set of
tactic to gain independence of India from the British.
Mr. King called the laws of the segregated south unjust because
he felt that they did not square themselves with the moral code
of the time. He went on in his letter to further break down the
steps need to carryout a non-violent campaign. First, there
would be a collection of the facts to determine whether
injustices were alive.
Two, there would be negotiation, to try
and squeal the matter peacefully. Three, there would be self-
purification, holding workshops on non-violence, and for four
The direct non-violent action came in the form of boycotts,
marches, and refusal of services. The Montgomery bus boycott
changed the law allowing blacks to sit were they pleased on
buses, not having to give up their seats to whites and allowing
them to sit in the front of the bus. Marches were lead on major
cities, Montgomery, Birmingham, Washington D.C.
. Sit-ins were
done at lunch counters that refused to serve blacks, making them
pick up their food at the back of the restaurant, mush like you
would feed a dog.
The last quote at the top of the page leads me to the group
conclusion, Mr. King and his supporters started, maintained, and
finished in a non-violent method. The white oppressors used
water canons, dogs and various gases to try and end the
demonstrations. Although they endured get hardship and pain they
in the end changed and help build what we in America, will
always fight for “Freedom” .