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source one
Extracts from King’s letter from Birmingham jail, 16 April 1963
(© Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr)
Estate of Martin Luther King © Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963


  1. Why did King and the civil rights activists decide to take direct action in Birmingham?

  2. What do you think King meant by the phrase: "freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed"?

  3. King was a powerful writer and speaker. Look at the extracts carefully. Where was he trying to appeal to:
    1. emotions?
    2. logical arguments?

  4. Can you comment on any other aspects that make this a persuasive letter?