Letter from Birmingham Jail


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  • Take a stand for your beliefs.
  • This is not separate but equal! Whites don't treat us with equality!
  • "I would not hesitate to say that it is unfortunate that so-called demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham at this time..."
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • "When you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of 'nobodyness'-- then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait."
  • I got you.
  • You have to work to bring change.
  • "In any nonviolent campaign, there are four basic steps... We have gone through all of these steps in Birmingham."
  • We deserve the same rights!
  • Though the laws of the time state that segregation was okay as long as they were separate but equal, the whites did not treat black people wit that equality, and Dr. King explains that the blacks were given no choice but to speak out and bring attention to their beliefs.
  • Dr. King explains that the whites in Birmingham should not be complaining that the demonstrations are untimely because none of the whites have lived a life where you are made to feel like trash ever single day. If they did understand the feeling, they would not treat the blacks in the manner that they did.
  • Dr. King explains that the people in Birmingham have gone through more than just outright protesting. There was more work in the process than that, and they have taken each step to make sure that their "demonstrations" were warranted.
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