Martin Luther King JR

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Letter From Birmingham Jail By Leigha Haller History 1100YA Professor P. Jasen March 5, 2001 Introduction History is made up of significant events which have shaped the present as well as remarkable leaders who have influenced the lives we lead today. Martin Luther King Jr.'s contributions to our history places him within a group of eminent leaders. As one of the world's best known advocates of nonviolent social change strategies, Martin Luther King Jr. is a symbol of the African-American civil rights struggle. King strived to adhere to his commitment to Gandhian principles, consisting of direct nonviolent action . The treatment of the African-Americans during the civil rights movement, and more specifically Martin Luther King Jr., leads one to wonder: Why were so many political and religious leaders critical of and opposed to King's approach to equality after the events of Birmingham? The events of Birmingham have had a profound effect on the world in which we currently live.

One of the outcomes was the desegregation of the Southern United States. Children growing up at the time of the civil rights movement were taught to use the term "˜Negro' or the street word "˜nigger'. By the mid 1960's children were taught that these words were considered offensive and that correct label was "˜coloured people.' That term of identification did not last long; soon, "˜black' was the correct term. Now, that too is offensive and out of date; to be politically correct the term is African-American. Today, using terminology such as "˜Negro' and "˜black', show a lack of understanding of the African-American community. There are sound reasons for not using these terms, with exceptions coinciding with historical documentation. During the time of the events surrounding Birmingham the term "˜Negro' was generally the accepted term. In...

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