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"Letter from Birmingham Jail"
This passage is adapted from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail."
…I think I should give the reason for my beingin Birmingham, since you have been influencedby the argument of "outsiders coming in." I havethe honor of serving as president of the Southern05Christian Leadership Conference, an organizationoperating in every Southern state with headquar-ters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-fiveaffiliate organizations all across the South, one be-ing the Alabama Christian Movement for Human10Rights. Whenever necessary and possible we sharestaff, educational, and financial resources with ouraffiliates. Several months ago our local affiliatehere in Birmingham invited us to be on call to en-gage in a nonviolent direct action program if such15were deemed necessary. We readily consented andwhen the hour came we lived up to our promises.So I am here, along with several members of mystaff, because we were invited here. I am here be-cause I have basic organizational ties here. Beyond20this, I am in Birmingham because injustice ishere….Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatednessof all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by inAtlanta and not be concerned about what happens25in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat tojustice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapablenetwork of mutuality, tied in a single garment ofdestiny. Whatever affects one directly affects allindirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the30narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyonewho lives inside the United States can never beconsidered an outsider anywhere in this country….You may well ask, "Why direct action? Why sit-ins,marches, etc.? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You35are exactly right in your call for negotiation.Indeed, this is the purpose of direct action.Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such acrisis and establish such creative tension thata community that has constantly refused to40negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeksso to dramatize the issue that it can no longer beignored. I just referred to the creation of tension asa part of the work of the nonviolent resister. Thismay sound rather shocking. But I must confess that45I am not afraid of the word tension. I have earnestlyworked and preached against violent tension, butthere is a type of constructive nonviolent tensionthat is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates feltthat it was necessary to create a tension in the mind50so that individuals could rise from the bondage ofmyths and half-truths to the unfettered realm ofcreative analysis and objective appraisal, we mustsee the need of having nonviolent gadflies to createthe kind of tension in society that will help men55rise from the dark depths of prejudice and rac-ism to the majestic heights of understanding andbrotherhood. So the purpose of the direct actionis to create a situation so crisis-packed that it willinevitably open the door to negotiation. We, there-60fore, concur with you in your call for negotiation.Too long has our beloved Southland been boggeddown in the tragic attempt to live in monologuerather than dialogue….My friends, I must say to you that we have65not made a single gain in civil rights withoutdetermined legal and nonviolent pressure. Historyis the long and tragic story of the fact that privilegedgroups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily70give up their unjust posture; but as ReinholdNiebuhr has reminded us, groups are moreimmoral than individuals.We know through painful experience thatfreedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor;75it must be demanded by the oppressed….For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" Itrings in the ear of every African American witha piercing familiarity. This "wait" has almostalways meant "never." It has been a tranquilizing80thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for amoment, only to give birth to an ill-formed infantof frustration. We must come to see with thedistinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice toolong delayed is justice denied." We have waited for85more than three hundred and forty years for ourconstitutional and God-given rights. The nationsof Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speedtoward the goal of political independence, andwe still creep at horse and buggy pace toward the90gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter….
1. Which choice correctly states King's purpose for writing this letter?
2. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
3. The passage most strongly suggests that which of the following statements is true?
4. As used in lines 22-23, "interrelatedness of all communities and states" most nearly means that
5. Based on paragraph 3, it can be reasonably inferred that King believed circumstances in Birmingham at the time
6. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
7. As used in line 41, "dramatize" most nearly means
8. Which choice most clearly paraphrases a claim made by King in paragraph 4?
9. Paragraph 5 best supports the claims made in the preceding paragraph by
10. King refers to "the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter" (lines 89-90) primarily to
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