Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Letter From Birmingham Jail (Excerpt)

"Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

-Written in April 1963 in response to eight clergymen critical of demonstrations in Birmingham and the nonviolent campaign for justice.

Source: page 191 in The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by Clayborne Carson (1998). Grand Central Publishing.

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