Letter from Birmingham Jail


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Letter from Birmingham Jail can help.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Term Analysis

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is a civil rights organization, of which Martin Luther King, Jr. was the first president. The organization was formed in 1957 with the original plan of desegregating bus systems throughout the South through nonviolent civil disobedience; later, the group expanded its focus to ending all forms of segregation. It was his leadership of the SCLC that brought King to Birmingham to protest the segregation of local shops. In response to critics referring to him as an “outsider,” King notes that he was invited to Birmingham as the president of the SCLC: “the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program,” and he felt it necessary to answer that call. One of the core beliefs of the SCLC was that the Christian church should be an agent for social change and should, therefore, support the nonviolent protest of racial injustice. King makes this clear in his letter, condemning religious leaders who refuse to take a stand against racism and segregation.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Quotes in Letter from Birmingham Jail

The Letter from Birmingham Jail quotes below are all either spoken by Southern Christian Leadership Conference or refer to Southern Christian Leadership Conference. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Perfection Learning edition of Letter from Birmingham Jail published in 2007.
Letter from Birmingham Jail Quotes

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Related Characters: Martin Luther King, Jr. (speaker)
Related Symbols: Apostle Paul
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Letter from Birmingham Jail LitChart as a printable PDF.
Letter from Birmingham Jail PDF

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Term Timeline in Letter from Birmingham Jail

The timeline below shows where the term Southern Christian Leadership Conference appears in Letter from Birmingham Jail. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Racism  Theme Icon
Justice  Theme Icon
...response by addressing his critics’ concerns about the presence of “outsiders,” referring indirectly to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference . He explains that the African American residents of Birmingham invited him, and needed his... (full context)
Racism  Theme Icon
Extremism vs. Moderation Theme Icon
Justice  Theme Icon
King then addresses the description of the protests as extreme, arguing that he and the SCLC fall somewhere in the middle, between African Americans who have become complacent and have no... (full context)