Top 4 Letter From Birmingham Jail quotes

  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    This quote from the Letter became extremely popular after it had been published. King explains the reasons why the racial inequality prevalent in Birmingham should concern black people everywhere in addition to people of other races. He explains that the existence of injustice in Birmingham is dangerous for the justice that exists everywhere else.

  • “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

    King explains that the protests are a necessary action and it is fallacious to assume that racial equality would eventually be achieved in due time. He argues that members of a prigged group never really give up their privileges voluntarily, but must be forced to do so by an authority. King defends the protesters right to demand their rights through whatever non-violent means that they deem necessary.

  • “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

    King writes about a white Texan who criticizes the movement for being in too great a hurry. The white man tells King that the law of God would eventually come down to earth and that they ought to exercise patience. King dismisses this argument and says that it is wrong to expect the Black population to wait any longer since they have been struggling for their human rights in America for longer than three centuries. He equates delayed justice with denying justice.

  • “I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community.”

    King discusses the two other groups of black people in America and elucidates how his position can be seen as the middle of the two differing views. He raises this argument as a rebuttal to the criticism that he and the protesters represented an extremist view. King explains that there is a group of black people in America who have made their peace with the racism of segregation, and laid their heads down to become complacent. The other group believes in desegregation much like King’s group, but this other group has lost all faith in America and Christianity as institutions that would ever treat them fairly. He argues that he stands in the middle of these two groups with a non-violent demand for racial justice and equality.

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