32 Martin Luther King Jr Letter From Birmingham Jail Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Birmingham on a Good Friday on April 16, 1963. Being arrested Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous letter, “A Letter From Birmingham Jail”. This letter is also known as the “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”. The main purpose of this open letter was to respond to eight prominent white clergy man. After penning the letter, on April 20, Martin Luther King Jr. was finally released from Birmingham jail. In honor of that Historic Marker “Letter From Birmingham Jail” QuotesGeeks present the best 32 Martin Luther King Jr Letter From Birmingham Jail Quotes.

32 Martin Luther King Jr Letter From Birmingham Jail Quotes:


Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Anyone who lives inside the US can never be considered an outsider anywhere in the country.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.

Martin Luther King Jr.


I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist.

Martin Luther King Jr.


We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King Jr.


One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.

Martin Luther King Jr.


I must confess that I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’

Martin Luther King Jr.


So I have tried to make it clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

Martin Luther King Jr.


I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community.” 

Martin Luther King Jr.


The early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King Jr.


In those days the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles o popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Maybe I was too optimistic. Maybe I expected too much.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Justice too long delayed is justice denied.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Martin Luther King Jr.


The judgment of God is upon the church as never before.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with.

Martin Luther King Jr.


A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law.

Martin Luther King Jr.


All too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.

Martin Luther King Jr.


More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.

Martin Luther King Jr.


I can’t join you in your praise for the police department.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The urge for freedom will eventually come. This is what has happened to the American Negro.

Martin Luther King Jr.


They were, in reality, standing up for the best in the American dream.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom; something without has reminded him that he can gain it.

Martin Luther King Jr.


I’m afraid that it is much too long to take your precious time.

Martin Luther King Jr.


History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.

Martin Luther King Jr.


We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation—and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop.

Martin Luther King Jr.


If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Letter From Birmingham Jail Quotes

The main ideas of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” are:

  • The goal of America is freedom
  • The time for change is now
  • Nature of segregation
  • Failings of the white moderate
  • Hope for the future

Q1. What was the letter that MLK Jr wrote while he was in jail?
Ans: Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Q2. What is the main purpose of the Letter from Birmingham Jail?
Ans: The main purpose of “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” was for Martin Luther King Jr. to respond to a group of white clergy.

Q3. What is the claim of Letter From Birmingham Jail?
Ans: The main claim of Letter From Birmingham Jail is to promote the urgent need for and biblical soundness of nonviolent protest.

Q4. Which justification for the demonstrations in Birmingham is the most powerful?
Ans: CIVIL RIGHTS of everyone is the best justification for the demonstrations in Birmingham is the most powerful.

Q5. What figurative language does Martin Luther King use in his letter?
Ans: Martin Luther King uses figurative language “Personification” in the letter from Birmingham Jail.

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