Letter From a Birmingham Jail

I might be accused of being a few days late with this post, as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in America passed some days ago. However, I don’t think we need a special day to think about how man treats his fellow man or, for that matter, to read and savour one of the most profound and powerful pieces of prose written in the last 100 years.

MLK’s writings are also made far more thought-provoking in the shadow of all that has happened in Ferguson in USA and in other cities. Of course, the key argument made today is that the battles for which MLK and others went to jail were only partially won and that victimisation, segregation and a discriminatory society still exists with all its double standards. However, I find myself really wondering what MLK would have made of today’s all too often un-ideologically motivated protestors who resort to destruction, looting and theft in the so-called pursuit of justice.

It’s a beautifully written and constructed piece that touches on foundational aspects of our lives still today. The discussion on whether it is our duty to refuse to comply with immoral or unjust laws is as relevant as it ever was.

Letter From a Birmingham Jail – In Full

This is a classic text that can serve many powerful and valuable purposes when used as a vehicle for classroom study, discussion and debate with students.


One Response

  1. Touching indeed….Interestingly we used the life history of Martin Luther King Jr. as an example to identify and teach the thinking skills that higher order classroom tasks demand in a history lesson.

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