Birmingham Bigots Busted Essays

Birmingham Bigots Busted Essays

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Sending a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. was potentially the largest mistake the Eight White Clergymen could have made if they wanted to sustain segregation. They probably did not expect such an eloquent response from an African-American. The letter to King asks him to give up his demonstrations because it only hurts his cause by instigating further hatred and violence. The letter continues on and asks for “...our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations...” and to instead keep the fight for their rights to the court system and out of the streets. When King replies to this “Call for Unity” he strips the entire letter down and turns it against the authors, making his response over six times longer than the letter. The letter King wrote from Birmingham Jail was a vital turning point in the desegregation movement. If King wasn't arrested then perhaps the letter from the clergymen would have never been authored; however that would also prevent his reply written 24 days prior to the May 10th Birmingham agreement which ended segregation within the city.
The clergymen try to build a case that the outsiders coming into town are partly responsible for the demonstrations. King addresses this point almost immediately by establishing not only his credibility with his experience as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference but also justification for coming to Birmingham. He goes further in depth for his justification by stating “Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States.” There was an effort to find the peaceful resolution the clergymen desired, promises were made “...to remove the humiliating racial signs...” and in turn any and all demonstrations were put...


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...s arrested for holding a parade without a permit, and his response was dated 4 days later on the 16th. With how well supported King makes his argument change would be inevitable. Even though King admits early on to avoiding answering letters of criticism he spent four days in jail working on a reply. In the end he even begs for forgiveness for anything he's written that's an overstatement or understatement of the truth. The clergymen at this point are forced to support the cause of anti-segregation or jeopardize their positions within the church with their hypocritical positions. King's letter was powerful and crafted with utmost precision, so much so that on May 10th 1963 the Birmingham agreement was announced and the town was desegregated. Only 28 days from his arrest and King had won Birmingham, “probably the most thoroughly segregated city In the United States.”

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