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A focused Presentation In the spring of 1963 Martin Luther King Jr was taken to jail in the aftermath of the Birmingham confrontation with Public Safety Commissioner Bull Conner and Municipal authorities Despite the beatings hosings and unleashing of vicious dogs Martin and his thousands of followers risked serious injury even death in parades in the heart of downtown Birmingham which eventually lead to their arrest While Martin was in jail he began composing his letter on the margins of newspapers and was continued on scraps of writing paper supplied by a friendly black trustee and was finally concluded on a pad Martins attorneys were eventually permitted to leave for him Martin had the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference an organization with one in every southern state having headquarters in Atlanta Georgia Martin was in Birmingham because that was where the injustice was He was there heading up a nonviolent campaign which he said had four basic steps Collection of all the facts to determine whether injustice exists Negotiation Self-purification and Direct action Birmingham had gone through the first three and finally a direct action step had to badly be taken The purpose of direct action is to dramatize an issue so much that it can no longer be ignored This seeks to encourage negotiation Martin goes on to write that it is unfortunate that demonstrations are going on in Birmingham but is even more unfortunate that the citys white community left the Negro residents with no further alternative The reasons for non-violent protest in the Negro community were record numbers of brutality grossly unjust treatment in the courts record numbers of unsolved bombings of homes and churches and harsh treatment in department stores All negotiations with the cities fathers had failed And in result of these actions they had no choice but to prepare for direct action which were non-violent protest risking emotional and physical harm to
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