Letter from Birmingham Jail 9 Criticisms

Letter from Birmingham Jail 9 Criticisms

In the letter from Birmingham jail 9 criticisms by Martin Luther King Jr., he beats and takes on nine crucial and tough criticisms. As a result, Myhomeworkwriters.com takes you through the hidden structure and the discovery of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s radical rhetorical power. This is the most read text widely. From a lonely confinement cell in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr Martin Luther King Jr writes the letter from Birmingham jail 9 criticisms. Some sections of the letter were written and slowly found their way out with the help of his lawyer. Some portions were on scrap paper including jailhouse toiled paper, according to some reports.

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Letter From Birmingham Jail 9 Criticisms

In the summer of 1963, there was a violent racist terror against the African Americas in Birmingham. It is for this reason that some of the locals called the city Bombingham. Martin Luther King Jr gets arrested when taking part in a peaceful anti-segregation march on the grounds without a permit. The laws and policies of segregation, which were part of the Jim Crow system, where there were separate restaurants, schools, and bathrooms for whites and blacks existing beyond the slavery period. Segregation was more particular in the South of America. Simultaneously, several local religious persons Dr Martin Luther King Jr counted on for support published A Call for Unity. The letter was critical to King and his other supporters.

Consequently, King Jr. wrote a letter identifying and responding to every nine particular criticisms he understood came from those men. Particularly, criticisms by the white church and its entire leadership. As a result, King writes the letter from Birmingham jail 9 criticisms forming the structure to help him in responding to every one of the nine critics.

What are the Criticisms from White Clergymen in Birmingham that Dr King Is Responding To?
In response to the critics by the religious figures, king Martin Luther King Jr put across the following letter from Birmingham jail main points. To address the question “what was Martin Luther King’s purpose in writing Letter from Birmingham Jail?”; King wrote the letter in response to the critics made by the while clergymen in Birmingham. The following is a letter from Birmingham jail summary.

  1. The King, as an outsider has no place to interfere with Birmingham city.
  2. A king using public demonstrations to pass their message across is inappropriate.
  3. Conducting a negotiation is better than taking direct action.
  4. The community of the negros should have more patience for society to slowly move toward civil rights.
  5. Breaking of laws
  6. Demanding for social justice by confronting society, no matter how peaceful the method is or not, is an act of provoking violence.
  7. Taking direct political actions like conducting demonstrations in the city of Birmingham, are acts of extremism.
  8. Acceptance of the punishment for breaking the law.
  9. Addressing the protesters as extreme

The King as an Outsider Has No Place to Interfere with Birmingham City.

To address this criticism, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. provides three key reasons. He explains why it is proper for him to be actively working for civil rights in the city of Birmingham. This is irrespective of him being a resident there permanently.

  1. He, as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is a national organization whose Alabama chapter invited him.
  2. Martin Luther King Jr compares himself and actually sees himself as apostle Paul, who had a call to preach the gospel of freedom and liberation far beyond his home place of birth.
  3. Additionally, Dr Martin Luther points and states that having instances of injustice anywhere is a big threat to justice everywhere.

A King Using Public Demonstrations to Pass their Message Across Is Inappropriate.

Martin Luther narrates that the structure of white power of Birmingham never made provisions for alternatives. This was due to the violence which is unremitting, continued racism among the merchants locally, and the political leaders being unwilling to negotiate. Additionally, Martin Luther states how he and his organization responsibly acted by considering and following the four basic steps that consisted and ended with a direct action which is non-violent. In the four basic steps, three included:

  1. Gathering of facts: martin’s group ensured a review and confirmation of all the above-listed facts.
  2. Having a negotiation: conducting and having talks with both the business and the political leaders.
  3. Self-purification: conducting and having workshops on non-violence and inner reflection.

Conducting a Negotiation Is Better than Taking Direct Action.

Also, Martin Luther presents a case for the essence of generally taking direct action. King elaborates that his group purposed to dramatize racism. Additionally, they ensure that the entire community had to confront the matter by getting in everyone’s space. By so doing, they wanted to create and establish a non-violent and creative tension.

Letter from Birmingham Jail 9 Criticisms

The Community of the Negros Should Have More Patience for the Society to Slowly Move Toward Civil Rights.

Martin Luther clearly elaborates that freedom is never given voluntarily by the oppressor. This is the section of the letter from Birmingham jail 9 criticisms containing the letter from Birmingham jail quotes. The quotes state the different ways the African Americans suffered from racist policies and attitudes. Additionally, it elaborates ‘why we find it difficult to wait.’ Consequently, King gives several illustrations explaining their legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

Breaking of Laws

After the acknowledgment of that legitimate concern, martin quickly launches letter from Birmingham jail analysis by paragraph. He does so in the defense for breaking the law as an act of morality. He based this concern on the aspect that there are just laws as well as unjust laws. In his defense, King had a litmus test for whether the difference between the laws degrades or uplifts the personality of humanity. By so doing, he weighs the variation between a violation of a law that needs a parade permit and a violation of the constitutional rights which are guaranteed by the first amendment.

His most powerful highlight in this part of the letter is that there cannot be a consideration for laws to be structured democratically when a section of the citizens or the minority has no place in creating or in enacting the law. This is due to the existence of discriminatory voting practices and rights.

Letter from Birmingham Jail 9 Criticisms

Demanding for Social Justice by Confronting Society, No Matter How Peaceful the Method Is or Not, Is an Act of Provoking Violence.

While addressing the critics number 6, 7, and 8, Martin Luther, to the structure of is letters, add two confessions. These are confessions of ultimate disappointment. Each confession channeled towards cowardice and hypocrisy. Additionally, each confession had something to do with particular groups of Americans whom he calls out explicitly by race and by a political bearing. Furthermore, he highlights two groups of blacks and whites in these comments.

The initial group he takes to work is the group of whites, calling themselves moderate. It is in regards to this group of whites that he talks of the irony he witnesses in the charge for peaceful action that allegedly precipitates violence. Furthermore, the issues out a warning to his contemporaries to repent, not only from the actions of the bad people but also from the appalling silence of the good people.

Taking Direct Political Actions Like Conducting Demonstrations in the City of Birmingham, are Acts of Extremism.

In this section of the letter, Martin Luther channels his critical eye towards two opposing forces in the Negro community, that is, the radical and the complacent. Furthermore, he puts the complacent into two categories. First, those beaten down by racism and poverty that they are too jaded to stand and defend themselves. Secondly, those corresponding to the white moderate, that is, the few negros in the middle class.

Also, King puts out a warning that the flip side of the black Americans in the middle-class, that is, the members of the Muslim movements and the black nationalist, are the actual extremists.

Letter from Birmingham Jail 9 Criticisms

Acceptance of the Punishment for Breaking the Law.

Martin Luther noted that he and his fellow protesters agree to accept punishment for breaking the law. This act was to demonstrate that they have the ultimate respect for the institution of the law. Additionally, he reminds all his readers and critics of civil disobedience, which took them back to the early Christians. The Christians resisted the unjust laws of Nebuchadnezzar and the Roman Empire. This went all the way to the Boston Tea Party, one of the civil disobedience foundational acts in American history.

Addressing the Protesters as Extreme

Also, Martin Luther addressed the description of the protesters are extreme. He argued that he and the SCLC fell somewhere in the middle between the African Americans who became complacent and had no desire to fight for freedom, and the group of the black nationalists who were consumed by hatred and bitterness for whites. Above all, their move was that of a third way of a non-violent protest.

What Best Describes the Central Theme of Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail?

To comprehensively understand the letter from Birmingham jail 9 criticism, Myhomeworkwriters.com with our team of academic experts prepares this summary of the letter from Birmingham jail rhetorical analysis and a comprehensive letter from Birmingham jail critical analysis. By so doing, you will be in a position to address different questions such as ‘what is the main argument in Letter from Birmingham Jail?’. Also, you will be able to address the issue on ‘how does King answer the major criticisms raised in the letter?’. Lastly, you will be in a position to tell ‘why can’t we send a letter from Birmingham jail?’. You will also understand the critical question of ‘what are kings’ reason for being in Birmingham?’.

First Analysis:


Martin Luther channels his letter to the white clergymen who condemned his actions in Birmingham, Alabama, publicly. He also states that he rarely responds to criticism, but since these were clergymen, he considers them men of goodwill. He further states his readiness and willingness to respond to their statement in a patient and reasonable terms.


Martin Luther began his letter by establishing a cordial and rational dialogue tone. This was of importance since the white authorities attempted to portray those involved in the protests are extremist law-breakers.

Second Analysis:


As a beginning in respond to the concerns of his critics, Martin Luther addresses the existence and presence of outsiders in Birmingham. This was a direct reference to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He elaborates that he received an invitation from the African American residents, and required his assistance with organizing a direct-action campaign. The campaigns objective is fighting the racial injustices in the city of Birmingham.


It is at this point that Martin Luther takes a point by point initiative to address all the criticism against him. He responds with confidence, saying that he is in the appropriate period and that all the actions he has undertaken are fundamental and necessary.

What are Kings Reason for Being in Birmingham?

Third Analysis:


Additionally, the reason why Martin Luther is in Birmingham is that he feels obligated to take action to any form of injustice wherever he finds it. He puts a comparison of his work to that of some early Christians, Apostle Paul in particular. Paul travelled far from his city of birth to spread the Gospel of Christ. Lastly, King also questions the fact that anyone within the United States could be an outsider while in the country. Furthermore, he states that the injustice in Birmingham connects to the national, racial injustice.


With his background in the Baptist ministry as a minister, Martin Luther has a comprehensive history and knowledge of Christianity. This knowledge helps him defend himself in his letter. Furthermore, Martin Luther knew that by comparing the protesters to the early Christians, placed all his critics in the shadows of the enemies of freedom and liberation from oppression and slavery. Additionally, the reminds the critics that those protesters are also American citizens and not outsiders in their own land, their own country.

Fourth Analysis:

As per Martin Luther, African Americans have been left with no alternative to direct action due to the systemic racism in Birmingham. He addresses the fact that segregation of the city, the brutality of the police towards the community of the African-American. To add to the list is the bombings of the African American homes which remain unsolved in courts, the mistreatments they face in courts made non-violent protest necessary at that point in time.


Although the critics expressed their concerns about the behavior of King, he ensures that he presents to them the systemic racism ignored by the white authorities for a long time. In addition, King laid more emphasis on the necessity of the protests based that current political and social conditions of the African Americans.

Fifth Analysis


Martin Luther narrates that the structure of white power of Birmingham lacked provisions for alternatives due to the violence which is unremitting. Secondly, continued racism among the merchants locally. Lastly the political leaders being unwilling to negotiate. Additionally, Martin Luther states how he and his organization responsibly acted by considering and following the four basic steps that consisted and ended with a direct action which is non-violent. In the four basic steps, three included: first, gathering of facts: martin’s group ensured they reviewed and confirmed all the above-listed facts. Secondly, having a negotiation: conducting and having talks with both the business and the political leaders, and lastly, self-purification: conducting and having workshops on non-violence and inner reflection.


Again, King focuses on the failings of the white authorities in Birmingham. He further describes the signs as humiliating, and he calls for attention to the psychological impact of segregating African Americans. There was total humiliation due to the disingenuous dealings of the merchants with the African American leaders.

Letter from Birmingham Jail 9 Criticisms

Sixth Analysis


Also, Martin Luther addresses the description of the protesters are extreme. He argued that he and the SCLC fell somewhere in the middle between the African Americans who became complacent and had no desire to fight for freedom. Also, the group of the black nationalists consumed by hatred and bitterness for whites. Above all, their move was that of a third way of a non-violent protest.


King also addressed the matter of extremism which his critics used as a warning or could have been an insult. He hoped to have a delegation in some way the civil rights movement. As a result, Martin Luther gives an example of the black nationalist parties are the extremists; this was more, especially because they lacked Christian values.

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In conclusion, Martin Luther finishes his letter from Birmingham jail 9 criticisms using a few final notes. First, he offers an apology for the length of his letter, but he ensures that he reminds his readers that all he is doing is sitting in a cell and uses hos time to outline all that put him there in the first place. Additionally, he expresses his desire to meet with the white clergymen wo actively criticize the protests. However, he wanted to meet then as a fellow clergyman and not a protester or an African American, or whatever name they would brand him. Lastly, he completes his letter with “yours in the cause of Peace and Brotherhood.”

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