Dr. John Smihula
April 8, 2013
Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (April 16, 1963)
Word Count: 518
Waiting vs. Action
Living in an era where discrimination and segregation posed life threatening dangers to African Americans triggered the immediate thirst for a nonviolent revolution. Dr. Martin Luther King lived in this time where African Americans were free but were denied their constitutional and God-given rights any Caucasian man or woman possessed. He and many others fought for these rights and waited for their time when they would be considered equals to all men. Dr. King argues that he can no longer wait for the day segregation is abolished, the day African Americans are safe from the murderous white men, and the day African Americans and truly free because waiting is an action that causes no reaction. Dr. King Argues that patience only lasts so long before a person becomes fed up and take matters into their own hands. In Dr. King’s eyes the words “wait for things to change” meant “things were never going to change” which became the reason waiting ceased and action commenced.
Three hundred and forty years is too many years to wait for a change but perfectly understandable in my eyes. Fear struck many African Americans to the point that obeying the white man’s law was accepted in order to keep their families alive no matter how discriminatory they were. Dr. King was strong minded, courageous, and daring and refused to continue to wait. Dr. King explains, “But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mother and father at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim….then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait”. I agree with Dr. King. Why continue to wait for a change when your mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters are being murdered in the meantime? Living in fear got African Americans nowhere except to their graves in my