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King’s Allusion in “Letter From Birmingham Jail” Essay

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Updated: Nov 28th, 2020

Dr. King’s claim centered on the need to encourage nonviolent protest against racial discrimination. He also revealed the biblical soundness of this claim through various examples (Rieder XIX). Importantly, the clergymen were against segregation, but they believed that people should wait patiently for justice. In their turn, Dr. King and his supporters were promoting active non-violent protest.

Through allusion to Apostle Paul, King attempted to stress that he also wanted to spread freedom (King 4). He tried to end racial oppression and discrimination through peaceful resolution. Dr. King alluded to Apostle Paul to show the clergymen that they were sharing a common ground.

Another crucial allusion was made to the Book of Acts. In it, Peter said that it was more important for him to act in the will of God rather than to hold by unjust rulings (King 5). It implied that he might offend other people in the process. This allusion showed that Dr. King was trying to obey the word of God (Blum and Harvey 205). While doing so, he recognized that he might be offending the church officials. Through this analogy, King intended to show that he would continue fighting for equality because it was the right thing to do. Thus, he wanted the clergymen to comprehend biblical reasoning behind the non-violent protest.

One more allusion was made to Socrates to explicate the need for action. He wrote that creating tension was essential “so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths” (King 2). Socrates asked people difficult questions so that they could reflect on their lives. Such analysis and tension liberated them from living under illusions. Through this example, Dr. Kind illustrated that civil disobedience took place many years ago. Back then, people were ready to oppose unjust laws that were causing inequality and preventing progress. In the same manner, King believed that people could unite to combat oppression.

Works Cited

Blum, Edward J., and Paul Harvey. The Color of Christ: The Son of God & the Saga of Race in America. The University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail. 1963. Web.

Rieder, Jonathan. Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation. Bloomsbury Press, 2013.

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IvyPanda. "King's Allusion in "Letter From Birmingham Jail"." November 28, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/kings-allusion-in-letter-from-birmingham-jail/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "King's Allusion in "Letter From Birmingham Jail"." November 28, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/kings-allusion-in-letter-from-birmingham-jail/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'King's Allusion in "Letter From Birmingham Jail"'. 28 November.

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