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Martin Luther King Essays (Examples)

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Letter from Birmingham Jail Analysis
Words: 3390 Length: 12 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 722870
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This paper serves as a letter from Birmingham jail analysis essay.  It first gives background information on the Birmingham Campaign and why King was there in the first place.  Then it proceeds to discuss the reason he wrote his letter, which was a public response to public criticism he received from eight white Southern preachers.  The analysis examines the letter itself and shows how King used various arguments and persuasive techniques to convince the reader that right was on his side.  Finally, it concludes with a list of relevant and important quotes from King’s letter.


While Martin Luther King, Jr., is today recognized as one of the most important leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, at the time—and especially at the beginning—he was very much criticized by his confreres for his participation in rallies and protests.  His arrest in Birmingham and his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was…


Branch, T.  (1988). Parting the waters:  America in the King Years, 1954-63.  New York, NY:  Simon & Schuster.
Garrow, D.  (1989).  Birmingham, Alabama, 1956-1963:  The black struggle for civil rights.  Carlson.
King, Jr., M. L.  (1963).  Letter from Birmingham Jail.  Retrieved from
Thoreau, H. D.  (1849).  Civil disobedience.  Retrieved from

MLK Jr 's I Had a
Words: 604 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 54561562
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" And that "it would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment."

The march on Washington and his well-known speech, delivered on the steps of Lincoln Memorial, was a way of keeping up pressure for federal civil rights legislation. This famous speech affected the crowd of approximately 250,000 civil rights supporters who attended the March on Washington, but it has also affected millions of lives, because it was an important contributory factor in changing the image of civil rights and, in the same time, in changing the whole American system.

Martin Luther King, Jr. hoped that that he will make "freedom ring" and for this reason he led the civil-rights movement in America; his speeches and his actions determined the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibited discrimination for reason of color, race, religion, national origin or sex. Without fail, Martin Luther…


Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I Have a Dream." 8 March 2007.

Martin Luther King, Jr." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 6 March 2007..8 March 2007,_Jr .

Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I Have a Dream." 8 March 2007

MLK Jr On Morality Utilitarianism
Words: 721 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 26407518
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Would King align himself with Utilitarianism? J.S. Mill asserted that the good can only be measured by the consequences of an act, whether pleasurable or painful. In its well-known simplified form, the maxim of Utilitarianism says that what should be chosen is what brings "the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people." Mill nuanced the notion of happiness, subordinating sensual happiness to mental happiness. King would have agreed on its social principle to maximize good for the most number of people, while disagreeing with the notion that mental happiness is higher than physical happiness. King's view of happiness is related to the direct physical conditions of humans, like poverty and inequality. He would have advocated raising the freedom and happiness of oppressed people physically above all. Only then could pleasure be increased in social conditions of equality and freedom. King would have appreciated the practical emphasis…


King, Martin Luther, Jr. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by James M. Washington. New York: HarperOne, 1986.

Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," in a Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. James Melvin Washington, 289-302 (New York: HarperOne, 1986), 290.

King, "Letter," 293.

King, "Letter," 292.

MLK One of the Most Famous Public
Words: 1407 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 67381059
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One of the most famous public speeches in American history was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The context of the speech is important: millions of Americans were growing tired and fed up with the lack of progress made with civil rights and equality. As Mount (2010) puts it, "In 1950's America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color -- blacks, Hispanics, Asians -- were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert." King grew up in the South and had personally experienced racism and discrimination. He also understood the need to work systematically to eliminate oppression and injustice. In 1959, something momentous happened in King's life that would ultimately lead to his earning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled…


Chew, R. 2011. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lucid Cafe. Retrieved online:

Conan, N. 2011. On his day, King's Dream speech in its entirety. NPR. Jan 17, 2011. Transcript online: 

King, M.L. 1963. I Have a Dream. Full text online at: 

King, M.L. 1963-b. Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Text online at:

MLK in His 1963 Letter
Words: 726 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 19619678
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I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk," (para. 47). The use of sarcasm allows King to retain his sense of confidence rather than to seem conciliatory to those who have thrwarted civil rights. Earlier on, King also uses sarcasm to enhance the confident tone of his writing. "I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes." (para 4).

To achieve a balanced tone in the letter, King blends anger regarding discrimination with the hope of liberation. Doing so, King frames civil rights as a necessary part of achieving the social order and the goals of the Founding Fathers. He remains angry while also pointing out that liberation was the ultimate goal of American Independence. King…

Work Cited

King, Martin Luther. Letter from Birmingham Jail. April 16, 1963.

Oppression MLK Jr Iron Jawed
Words: 1176 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 28788199
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The second way to resist oppression listed by Martin Luther King in his essay is the violent way, a way he disapproves of and a way against which he speaks. "A second way that oppressed people sometimes deal with oppression is to resort to physical violence and corroding hatred. Violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem; it merely creates new and more complicated ones. " This type of resistance is the most striking of all, and the easiest to recognize in real life, and also in this film. It is a type of resistance that both the oppressed and the oppressor sometimes use. A march of protest sometimes turns violent, and by doing so it serves no goal and brings no deliverance to the suffering. In…


Author not available, "Martin Luther King Jr.," Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, Sept. 26, 2006. Retrieved: Sept 27th, 2006. .

Nobel Lectures, Peace 1951-1970," Editor Frederick W. Haberman, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972, copyright the Nobel Foundation,, Retrieved: Sept 27th, 2006. 

Author not available, "HBO films Iron Jawed Angels-Synopsis," Copyright © 2006 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Retrieved: Sept 27th, 2006. /' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>

MLK Speech I have a Dream Rhetorical analysis
Words: 759 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 22413661
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The famous speech by Martin King Luther Jr. “I Have a Dream” is deemed as one of the most captivating and moving speeches that were ever given by MKL Jr. in his lifetime. This speech was given to mark the epitome of the civil rights march at Lincoln memorial in Washington DC in 1963. The audient to whom MKL Jr. was giving the speech was a multitude of civil rights movement members from all over the USA, ordinary people, dignitaries and people from different racial backgrounds. The outstanding purpose of the speech was to further the position of the civil rights movement on the issue of racial discrimination and alienation of the black as well as the blatant breach of the human rights of the blacks that was taking place in the USA at that moment in history. It was also a speech meant to send a strong signal that…

Leadership Techniques
Words: 1603 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 44358285
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Martin Luther King Junior -- the Leader

Martin Luther King Junior was born to a Baptist minister in the year 1929 in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. In Howard Gardner's book, Leading Minds, King referred to his childhood and explained that the first twenty-5 years of his existence were very comfortable years. He was not bothered about much except going to school and doing the work he was asked to do (Gardner, 1995). He was raised in the father's actions and also got his bachelor of divinity in 1951 and the doctoral in 1955. Gardner highlights that while King's personal philosophy hadn't coalesced, he was thinking about the bond between an individual's relationship to God and their resolve for social activism on the planet. He seemed to be trying to reconcile his personal encounters as part of the standard, psychologically suffused black chapel with rather abstruse concerns of latest Protestant…


Charismatic Leadership. (2007). Retrieved on September 15, 2012 from: 

Gardner, Howard. Leading Minds. 1995. New York. Basic Books.

Jackson, Thomas F. (2006). From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Kirk, John A. (2005). Martin Luther King, Jr. Pearson Longman

Someone I Admire or Despise
Words: 695 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 96228686
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Numerous factors are considered in determining whether an individual is worthy of admiration and respect. Some individuals are deemed to be great because they have a unique gift or talent. For example, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Picasso, and Van Gogh are well-renowned due to their universally recognized artistic and musical abilities. ther individuals achieve long-term recognition by making invaluable contributions to individuals and society. For example, Cesar Chavez, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks have attained enduring praise because of the contributions they made to individuals and society. This paper examines the life of Martin Luther King Jr. And the impact he made on society.


It is nearly impossible to understand the full extent and nature of Martin Luther King Jr.'s accomplishments without examining the history underlying the civil rights movement. The United States Supreme…

Other incredible events in Martin Luther King Jr.'s life include his participation as a principal speaker in the historic March on Washington, where he delivered one of the most passionate speeches of his career. After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. led a voter-registration campaign in Selma, Alabama which culminated in the historic Selma-to-Montgomery Freedom March. In addition, Martin Luther King Jr. launched an open-housing and slum-rehabilitation program in Chicago, Illinois.


Few individuals are capable of achieving true admiration, recognition, and respect. Likewise, even fewer individuals attain long-term admiration, recognition, and respect. In addition, very few individuals have the ability, determination, and skill to make a lasting contribution to other individuals and society. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the rare individuals who was able to lead a movement for black equality in a non-violent manner while crossing racial lines and gaining long-term admiration, recognition, and respect of whites.

Ethical Society
Words: 306 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 25782562
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Martin Luther King & George Orwell

Martin Luther King and George Orwell's representations of an ethical society

Civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King and novelist George Orwell had been known for their political discourses regarding the extent of the government's responsibility to civil society. In the essay "My Pilgrimage to Nonviolence" by King and "Shooting an Elephant" by Orwell, each author's discourse contemplated the kind of ethical society that humanity should have. Their discussion centered on their experiences as members of a society where civil strife and inequality were the norm, devoid of each author's standards in an ethical (i.e., 'ideal') society. In King's "My Pilgrimage," he shared with readers the path he took and underwent in order to achieve his "intellectual odyssey to nonviolence." Citing famous works on the Enlightenment and Capitalism, such as Bentham, Mill, Rousseau, Marx, and Nietzsche, he realized that for him, an ethical society…

Arts of the Contact Zone
Words: 1391 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 96563167
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Thus, his speech was not simply a complaint about what was wrong with the current system, but a stirring look at how to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Perhaps the most important part of King's speech is his cry for peace and understanding between both groups. He did not urge blacks to take their rights by force, but advocated peace and mutual respect for each other. This part of the speech follows Pratt's essay regarding the critique portion, where King first assesses what is wrong with the treatment of blacks in the country, and then offers ways to fix the problem. He advocates collaboration for reform, and always advocates understanding between blacks and whites in the country. He was a man of peace who used radical reform to help solve a pressing problem.

King's speech represents the contact zone in another important way, and that is because it…


King, Martin Luther. "I Have a Dream." University of Groningen. 21 Nov. 2004. 6 Nov. 2006.

Pratt, Mary Louise. "Arts of the Contact Zone." University of Florida. 1999. 6 Nov. 2006.

Dr King's Leadership Style Dr
Words: 1715 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Research Paper Paper #: 92948221
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27). King very definitely understood the challenges facing the movement for justice. He knew he couldn't master all of the challenges but he was effective at planting the seeds of change in the hearts and minds of his followers. In Chapter 3 the authors discuss "cross-cultural communication" and King's "Dream" speech (and his "Letter") both communicated vital messages not just to blacks, but to all of America. King's "Dream" speech ended with words that embraced many cultures: "…all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics…" will join hands and sing "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

orks Cited

Chapter 2 -- Leadership: The Case of the Healthcare Organization CIO

Chapter 3 -- Communicating Across Cultures

Cherry, K. (2013). Transformational Leadership. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from

Goodwin, J.L., Houghton, J.D., Neck, C.P., and Mohan,…

Works Cited

Chapter 2 -- Leadership: The Case of the Healthcare Organization CIO

Chapter 3 -- Communicating Across Cultures

Cherry, K. (2013). Transformational Leadership. Retrieved June 14, 2013, from .

Goodwin, J.L., Houghton, J.D., Neck, C.P., and Mohan, E.C. (2011). Dr. Martin Luther King,

Zinn Chapter 17 English 2nd
Words: 733 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Book Report Paper #: 57428140
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Their philosophy was that immoral laws could be changed through the constitutional process and that even non-violent and civil disobedience was a form of lawlessness and that it is not acceptable to violate any laws even to achieve justice.

5.) According to Zinn, what were the achievements of the Civil Rights era and what has yet to be achieved?

Zinn acknowledges that the United States made tremendous progress in racism. However, he also warns that there are still many remaining areas of inequality between white and black society that have lasted much longer. In almost every measure of the quality of life, black people have fewer advantages than white people and they still face prejudice and discrimination. Zinn suggests that there is still a substantial amount of racism in the country that exists on more subtle levels that, in some ways makes it harder to address effectively.

1.) What is…

Thinkers' Contributions Society & 8226 Each Thinkers' Personal
Words: 1180 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 43896680
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thinkers' contributions society • Each thinkers' personal / social / political environments factors contributed creativity • The problems issues ideas sought solve • A description solutions, ideas implemented • The creative process thinker a comparison creative processes • A critique ideas differently Include references.

hile most people would fail to identify links between Bill Gates and Martin Luther King, it is actually intriguing to compare these two individuals and their accomplishments from the perspective of someone interested in social progress. Both of these individuals were visionaries and both of them focused on having the social order acknowledge that it is essential for it to get actively involved in improving conditions in the world. Even with the fact that one is a businessman while the other was a Civil Rights advocate, these two individuals have had a strong influence on the lives of individuals today and can be considered largely responsible…

Works cited:

Anderson, Cristopher J. "International Journal of Religion and Sport 2009 ," (Mercer University Press, 2009 )

"DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.," retrieved July 23, 2012, from the World Changers Website:

"Bill Gates," retrieved July 23, 2012, from the World Changers Website:

"Powerful Attitudes," (

King X
Words: 1333 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 79977437
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Creative Minds Critical Thinking Famous Thinkers Paper Subjects: Martin Luther King Malcom XS

It is not easy to readily deconstruct the ideas and courses of action that Malcolm X advocated, for the simple fact that those ideas and courses of action changed so much during his relatively short lifetime. It is far easier to do so for Martin Luther King Jr., who was fairly consistent in his ideology and actions. However, when attempting to compare these aspects of these two salient African-American leaders in the middle of the 20th century, there are both points of similarity and of dissimilarity. For the most part, these men supported drastically different ways of accomplishing what was relatively the same objective. That objective, of course, serves as the primary similarity between these men -- each of them was actually working to solve the same problems that African-Americans faced during the Civil rights movement. If…


Coates, T-N. (2011). The legacy of Malcolm X: Why his legacy lives on in Barack Obama. Atlantic Monthly. 307(4), 100-107.

Haley, A. (1964). The Autobiography of Malcolm X New York: Ballantine Books.

King Jr., M.L. (1963). Letter from a Birmingham jail. Retrieved from 

Worthington, B. (2013). Martin Luther King Jr. As identifactory conglomerate. Black Theology: An International Journal. 11(2), 219-239.

Coatesville John Jay Chapman The Letter Birmingham
Words: 1377 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 94701837
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Coatesville" John Jay Chapman "The Letter Birmingham Jail" Martin Luther

Deeply Disillusioned

The United States of America has meant a wide variety of things to several different people, particularly to those who have had to call its shores home. The initial promise of this land -- as one of redemption, as a place where the lofty ideas engraved within such documents as the Bill of Rights and the Constitution have never been fully realized by a widening number of people who have never been treated with the degree of parity and ideals within them -- wasted little time in going sour. Virtually any Native American can tell you: there can never be justice on stolen land. In spite of this fact, men such as Martin Luther King, Jr. have written their own documents (such as "Letter From A Birmingham Jail," a discourse about the need for public non-violent protest) attempting…

Works Cited

Chapman, John Jay. "Coatesville." Wake Forest University. 28. Oct. 2011. 

King Jr., Martin Luther. "Letter From A Birmingham Jail." University or Pennsylvania Africana Studies. 28 Oct. 2011.

Revisiting Dr King's Dream
Words: 690 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 4781956
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Dr. Martin Luther King: In memoriam

An America facing the increasing threat of an entangling war abroad. An America where the right to vote was unsure, despite constitutional guarantees. A world torn apart by hated, by religious and regional divisions and destruction. All of these were realities of the world faced by Dr. King so many years ago, when he made his famous "I have a dream" speech in 1963. Today, Vietnam has been replaced by Iraq as a constant, nagging international threat. Voting prohibitions and segregation has been ended, but still the ability of individuals to freely and fairly make their voices heard through the vehicle of the ballot box remains uncertain in many counties across America. But even in the face of all of these threats, Dr. King was still able to dream of a better tomorrow. And his willingness to dream created a world, while still imperfect,…

Works Cited

King, Martin Luther. " I Have a Dream." 1963. Speech the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. On August 28, 1963.

Hassey, Eliza. "The History of Black History."

Social Justice for African Americans
Words: 719 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Research Proposal Paper #: 54216471
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Martin Luther King Jr.

The author of this document proposes to write a paper about the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. It will specifically evaluate the merits of his integrationist works which he foisted upon the nation in the name of civil rights. This topic satisfies the requirement for this research paper in a number of ways. Firstly, it is predicated on one of the five historic ethnic minority groups that are the focus of the class for which this paper is written. Martin Luther King Jr. was widely hailed as a champion of African-Americans. He labored hard to attain civil rights for this group of people. One of the primary ways that he sought to achieve this objective was through the integration of African-Americans with Caucasians.

Secondly, the actions of King Jr. are in accordance with the requirements for action that are a part of this…


Du Bois, William. The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003.

Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books, 1964.

King Jr., Martin Luther. Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Gen/Letter Birmingham.html 1963.

Dr King Plagarism the Case
Words: 3759 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Dissertation Paper #: 15234507
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The question surrounding Dr. King's plagiarism is how it affects other researchers "Martin Luther King's Plagarism: Moral Issues for Researchers." Carlson has been criticized for his role in the controversy as well. hen Kings plagiarism was discovered, Carlson did not act quickly enough according to some critics. However, it might be that Carlson understood the gravity of the discovery and wanted to make sure before he released it to the public. Carlson knew that his discoveries would harm the image of a national icon. Therefore, one cannot agree with curtains critics on this point. It appear that he was just being cautious about his own work. Carlson stated that the reason for his slow disclosure was that he was afraid that the information would reach the press and that they would sensationalize it, and he was correct about this assumption, in the end. The discovery of the King plagiarism was…

Works Cited

"Boston U. Panel Finds Plagiarism by Dr. King." New York Times, October 11, 1991. p15.

Carlson, Clayborne. Documenting Martin Luther King's Importance -- and is Flaws. Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 1991. Vol. 37 Issue 18, p. A52, 1. p, 1

DePalms, a. Plagiarism Seen by Scholars in King's Ph.D. Dissertation. New York Times,

November 10, 1990, p1.