Mlk Letter from Birmingham Jail

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Letter from Birmingham Jail Many people opposed Martin Luther King Jr.'s role in the Birmingham protest calling him an “outside agitator”. His fellow clergymen questioned his methods of non violent direct action, but supported his ultimate goals (Bedford/St. Martin). The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a response from Martin Luther King Jr. to the clergymen's criticisms. In the letter, King alludes to many voices of the past in order to gain the support of his audience. King uses examples such as, the Apostle Paul, Nelson Mandela, and Adolf Hitler, to explain and justify his presence in Birmingham jail. The first allusion King refers to is the Apostle Paul, and his Macedonian call. According to the Bible, Paul was called upon by God in a vision to preach the gospel to the people in Macedonia. “After Paul had seen the vision, [he] got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called [him] to preach the gospel to them” (New International Version, Acts 16.10). Paul went to Macedonia to speak the word of God. Even though he knew he would be criticized for it, he went anyways, knowing it was the just and right thing to do. King alludes to Paul in his letter because just like Paul, he feels strongly about doing what he believes is right. King states, “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. (70) Martin Luther King Jr. compares himself to Paul because he wants his audience, the eight clergymen, to understand
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