The National Archives
Heroes & Villains
King & civil rights
> Source 1
Extracts from King’s letter from Birmingham jail, 16 April 1963
(© Estate of
Martin Luther King, Jr
Why did King and the civil rights activists decide to take direct action in Birmingham?
What do you think King meant by the phrase: "freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed"?
King was a powerful writer and speaker. Look at the extracts carefully. Where was he trying to appeal to:
Can you comment on any other aspects that make this a persuasive letter?