MLK Meaning in Letter From Birmingham

Making Meaning of MLK's Letter to Birmingham

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" was written as a response to an open letter that appeared in a local newspaper from eight white clergymen of the state, including bishops, pastors, and a rabbi. In it, they called upon Dr. King for an end to the protests and what they considered "civil disobedience" taking place in the city (Patton 53). They urged instead for patient negotiation and legal action to address any perceived denial of rights to black citizens.

King responded calmly and rationally to the issues raised in the open letter. In what is one of his only written works, the Letter addresses the men as "Fellow Clergymen" and as "brothers." He wrote, "since I feel you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want...
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