Overall verdict: just plain bad.

Turns out he had a lot on his mind, and that he hadn't just shown up to the protest to get out of preaching to his congregation for a few days. He had a philosophy and a plan and everything.

Dr. King, one of the heroes of this story, was among them.

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Some of this might sound familiar…

Birmingham, Alabama was one of the worst places in America to be a Black American, so the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Dr. King's crew, the SCLC) decided to go there to demonstrate against the segregation laws. They did, and according to plan, many people were arrested.

Actually, he might not have said that last one.

While he was resting in the cozy confines of the Birmingham City Jail on the charge of "parading without a permit," he had the pleasure of reading a in the local paper written by some white clergymen. It said Blacks should just put up with their miserable situation until everything was "resolved" in the racist local courts. After all, isn't that what Jesus would do?

Even white supremacists cry when they hear him speak…although for different reasons.

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P.S. Heard this letter called something other than "Letter from Birmingham Jail?" Scoot on down to "" to learn more. Meanwhile, put down those baby goat videos for a few minutes—Dr. King has something he wants to tell you.

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The clergymen called MLK an "outsider" (from the distant land of Atlanta) and portrayed him and the rest of the activists as a bunch of rabble-rousers. As if that wasn't enough, they commended the police for being so and with the protestors (they might have had a point if the Birmingham police used instead of German shepherds). Stay out of the streets, Black people, they said. Be patient.

Hahn, L. E. ” Signal Mountain, TN: Tuggle Books, 1996

Waaaay back in ancient America (1963), before we lived in today's utopia of perfect racial harmony, there used to be a thing called racism. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act took care of all that.

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Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail

Human ordinances, Aquinas in his Treatise on Law, can be contrary to the human good—and therefore unjust—by way of their end, author, or form. The first mode of legal injustice, according to this schema, is a law designed to bring about private gain at the expense of other members of the community. Otherwise benign laws can also be terribly unjust if made by someone without legitimate lawmaking authority or enforced in an illegitimate or partial manner. King, of course, had in mind Jim Crow laws when he spoke of legal injustice, but the concrete examples he marshaled in his letter followed the general contours of Aquinas’s natural law theory.

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Justin Dyer is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri and author of (Cambridge University Press). Kevin Stuart is a political consultant at Teddlie Stuart Media Partners in New Orleans, LA and a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Well, there was a lot of this kind of talk going around back then. Dr. King and his colleagues didn't usually pay much attention to it, but as you can imagine, MLK suddenly found himself with a lot of free time because jail. And that's how "Letter from Birmingham Jail" was born. It arguably marks the turning point of both his career and the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.