Practice What You Preach !

Martin Luther King wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail April 1963 while serving a nine day prison term. This letter is very famous. Martin Luther King is originally from Atlanta but in the letter he explained “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and thats why he was in Birmingham conducting many non violent protests. Birmingham was one of the most segregated cities in the south. I title this post “Practice What you Preach” because in his letter Martin Luther King critized many clergymen for being afraid to support him and help fight for equality. A lot of white moderates and clergymen criticized what Martin was doing and they thought that he was being too extreme. They thought ┬áthat the blacks just needed to be patient and eventually there will be equality. Martin disagreed with them in his letter he stated “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro.” Blacks were tired of waiting; they were ready to fight and the younger generation also more aggressive than before.

During the 1960’s we see a lot more school aged kids fighting for equality. It can be assumed that the rise of protesting by students has roots in the 195o’s era change. I think that many were inspired by the Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. According to Foner, in May of 1963 when King made a bold decision to send young black school children to protest was a huge triumph for the Civil Rights Movement. Schoolchildren were beaten up by nightsticks and dogs, and sprayed by high pressure fire hoses and this caused a revulsion not only throughout Birmingham or the United States but around the world !





The bill of rights for the disadvantaged

Civil and economic rights movement

With only a few victories in the civil rights movement, African Americans began their journey to fix economic problems in the black community. With nearly twice as many African Americans unemployed as whites, and the average black family income slightly over half the white norm, Leaders like MLK attempted to solve economic hardships. King had proposed the Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged, which was aimed at poverty in the country. King had argued it was time for the government to step in to do something special for black people after they had suffered hundreds of years of hardship. This bill later became associated with affirmative action which calls for the consideration of race, color, religion and gender in the field of employment to give an equal opportunity to underrepresented groups. In 1966, MLK started the Chicago Freedom Movement to end further discrimination in employment, mortgages accessibility, public homes and low income housing. King had used previous methods to lead the movement but eventually failed because of the heavy opposition from white home owners.