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Transcript of civil disobedience
Birmingham, AL March, April, 1963
Letter from a Birmingham jail
•In 1963, what two recommendations did a group of Alabama clergymen propose to resolve the racial conflict in Birmingham, Alabama?
•Identify two or three criticisms they gave of the political demonstrations and protests taking place in Birmingham.
•What praise did they give to "local news media and law enforcement officials" for their conduct during the demonstrations?
•Does King consider himself an "outsider" by staging a civil rights protest in Birmingham? List three reasons he gives in response to this criticism.
•List and explain the four-step process King outlines for their nonviolent campaign
•If King admits that breaking laws in order to change them is "a legitimate concern," how does he still justify civil disobedience? List two reasons for his defense of civil disobedience, and explain how King thought a law can be disobeyed without leading to anarchy
•How does King's appeal to "eternal and natural law" help him examine human laws?
•Explain why King thinks the tension stirred up by his protest movement promotes social and political reform.
•How does King respond to the charge that he is an extremist? Whom does he identify as the real extremists?
•Why is King hopeful about the prospects for equal rights for black Americans? Give specific examples and reasons he mentions to support your answer.
•What is King's response to the clergymen's approval of how the police kept order during the demonstrations?
I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:
1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
2. Remember always that the non—violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.
3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
10.Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.
I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.
Besides demonstrations, I could also help the movement by: (Circle the proper items)
Run errands, Drive my car, Fix food for volunteers, Clerical work, Make phone calls, Answer phones, Mimeograph, Type, Print Signs, Distribute leaflets.
ALABAMA CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Birmingham Affiliate of S.C.L.C.
505 1/2 North 17th Street
F.L. Shuttlesworth, President
Charles Moore, Photograph of Alabama, 1963
Rev. Jackson's address to the National Baptist
•Why does Jackson think "street marches, boycotts, and picket lines" on behalf of civil rights are counterproductive? How does his view of America, and especially the role of black Americans in its development, inform his reaction to the mass protest movement?
•Why does Jackson disagree with civil disobedience, which he calls "open opposition to the laws of the land"?
•How do his references to Thurgood Marshall's victory in the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 strengthen his argument?
•What recommendations does he make to black Americans for securing equal rights?
•Why does he think that direct confrontation is not likely to be successful?