Letter From Birmingham Jail Moore Public

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Letter from birmingham jail moore public

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GRADE 10 WRITING
INFORMATIVE ESSAY
After reading the speeches “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “Hope, Despair, and
Memory,” write an essay in which you examine both authors’ beliefs about the
importance of remembering the past. Why is it important to remember painful aspects
of the past rather than forget them? Support your discussion with evidence from both
articles

LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL
Martin Luther King, Jr

1 We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be
demanded by the oppressed

2 Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct-action movement that was “well timed” according to the
timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have
heard the word “wait.” It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This “wait” has almost
always meant “never”. It has been tranquilizing thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for a moment,
only to give birth to an ill-formed infant of frustration

3 We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that “justice too long delayed is justice
denied.” We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and
constitutional rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet like speed toward the goal of
political independence, and we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at
a lunch counter

4 I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say “wait.” But when
you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at
whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers
and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers
smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your
tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year old daughter why she
cannot go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling
up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing
clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality
by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people

5 When you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your
first names becomes “nigger” and your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last
name becomes “John,” and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when
you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe
stance, never knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments when you
are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodyness”-then you will understand why we find it
difficult to wait

6 There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over and men are no longer willing to be plunged
into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can
understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience

HOPE, DESPAIR AND MEMORY
Elie Wiesel
7 Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope
summons the future. Does this mean that our future can be built on a rejection of the past? Surely such a
choice is not necessary. The two are not incompatible. The opposite of the past is not the future but the
absence of past. The loss of one is equivalent to the sacrifice of the other. A recollection. The time: After
the war. The place: Paris. A young man struggles to readjust to life. His mother, his father, his small sister
are gone. He is alone. On the verge of despair. And yet he does not give up. On the contrary, he strives to
find a place among the living. He acquires a new language. He makes a few friends who, like himself, believe
that the memory of evil will serve as a shield against evil; that the memory of death will serve as a shield
against death

8 This he must believe in order to go on. For he has just returned from a universe where God, betrayed by His
creatures, covered His face in order not to see. Mankind, jewel of his creation, had succeeded in building an
inverted Towel of Babel, reaching not toward heaven but toward an anti-heaven, there to create a parallel
society, a new “creation” with its own princes and gods, laws and principles, jailers and prisoners. A world
where the past no longer counted-no longer meant anything

9 Stripped of possessions, all human ties severed, the prisoners found themselves in a social and cultural void

“Forget”, they were told. “Forget where you came from; forget who you were. Only the present matters”

But the present was only a blink of the Lord’s eye. The Almighty himself was a slaughterer: it was He who
decided who would live and who would die, who would be tortured, and who would be rewarded. Night after
night, seemingly endless processions vanished into the flames, lighting up the sky. Fear dominated the
universe. Indeed this was another universe; the very laws of nature had been transformed

10 The next question had to be, why go on? If memory continually brought us back to this, why build a home?
Why bring children into a world in which God and man betrayed their trust in one another?
11 Of course we could try to forget the past. Why not? Is it not natural for a human being to repress what
causes him pain, what causes him shame? Like the body, memory protects its wounds. When day breaks
after a sleepless night, one’s ghosts must withdraw; the dead are ordered back to their graves. But for the
first time in history, we could not bury our dead. We bear their graves within ourselves

12 For us, forgetting was never an option. Remembering is a noble and necessary act

GRADE 10 WRITING . INFORMATIVE ESSAY . After reading the speeches “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “Hope, Despair, and Memory,” write an essay in which you examine both …

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the letter from a birmingham jail?

Got it! As we approach another Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday, I have been reflecting on one of his most important writings, the “ Letter from a Birmingham Jail .” Dr. King wrote this epic letter on April 16th, 1963 as a political prisoner. Dr.

What happened to martin luther king jr in birmingham jail?

The letter from the Birmingham jail. In Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963, King’s campaign to end segregation at lunch counters and in hiring practices drew nationwide attention when police turned dogs and fire hoses on the demonstrators. King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, including hundreds of schoolchildren.

Is the letter from birmingham jail a pauline epistle?

Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'Letter From Birmingham Jail'. New York: Bloomsbury Press. ISBN 978-1-62040-058-6. Snow, Malinda (1985). "Martin Luther King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' as Pauline Epistle". Quarterly Journal of Speech. 71 (3): 318–334. doi: 10.1080/00335638509383739. ISSN 1479-5779. Bass, S. Jonathan (2014).

How did martin luther king respond to the birmingham protests?

Shortly after King’s arrest, a friend smuggled in a copy of an April 12 Birmingham newspaper which included an open letter, written by eight local Christian and Jewish religious leaders, which criticized both the demonstrations and King himself, whom they considered an outside agitator. Isolated in his cell, King began working on a response.