Why We Can’t Wait

by

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Why We Can’t Wait can help.

Albert Boutwell Character Analysis

Albert Boutwell was the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama from 1963 to 1967. Like Bull Connor—his opponent in the mayoral race—he was a segregationist, though he was a little less aggressive and adamant about the issue. Still, Dr. King worries in Why We Can’t Wait that Boutwell’s administration won’t bring any kind of change to Birmingham, which is why he and his fellow organizers decided not to postpone the direct-action campaign in favor of giving Boutwell a chance.
Get the entire Why We Can’t Wait LitChart as a printable PDF.
Why We Can’t Wait PDF

Albert Boutwell Character Timeline in Why We Can’t Wait

The timeline below shows where the character Albert Boutwell appears in Why We Can’t Wait. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Bull Connor’s Birmingham
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
...a local election taking place on March 5th. The top candidates were Bull Connor, Albert Boutwell, and Tom King. All of them were segregationists, and because Dr. King and the others... (full context)
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
Complacency, Ignorance, and the Status Quo Theme Icon
...clear winner, meaning that there would be a run-off election between Bull Connor and Albert Boutwell in early April. Once again, Dr. King and the others were forced to delay, losing... (full context)
Chapter 4: New Day in Birmingham
History, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Complacency, Ignorance, and the Status Quo Theme Icon
Albert Boutwell won the run-off election. Although the press heralded his victory as a “new day” in... (full context)
History, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
Complacency, Ignorance, and the Status Quo Theme Icon
Some influential Black leaders in Birmingham wanted to give Boutwell’s administration the chance to bring about change, hoping he would be more just than Bull... (full context)
Chapter 5: Letter from Birmingham Jail
History, Progress, and Change Theme Icon
Unity, Community Organizing, and Leadership Theme Icon
Complacency, Ignorance, and the Status Quo Theme Icon
...incoming city government would do to address racism in Birmingham. But Dr. King knows that Boutwell has the same segregationist ideas as the previous administration, so waiting for him to act... (full context)