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Why We Can't Wait (1964)

de Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Dr. King's best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963 On April 16, 1963, as the violent events of the Birmingham campaign unfolded in the city's streets, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., composed a letter from his prison cell in response to local religious leaders' criticism of the campaign. The resulting piece of extraordinary protest writing, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," was widely circulated and published in numerous periodicals. After the conclusion of the campaign and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, King further developed the ideas introduced in the letter in Why We Can't Wait,which tells the story of African American activism in the spring and summer of 1963. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by King, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. Often applauded as King's most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can't Waitrecounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. Disappointed by the slow pace of school desegregation and civil rights legislation, King observed that by 1963-during which the country celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation-Asia and Africa were "moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence but we still creep at a horse-and-buggy pace." King examines the history of the civil rights struggle, noting tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality, and asserts that African Americans have already waited over three centuries for civil rights and that it is time to be proactive- "For years now, I have heard the word 'Wait!' It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.' We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that 'justice too long delayed is justice denied.'"… (mais)
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Exibindo 5 de 5
Really enjoyed this. It was an interesting look inside the planning, motivations, and tactics of the anti-segregation demonstrations in Birmingham in 1963. Dr. King is a clear, direct and sometimes moving writer. It brings the movement and era to life in a more direct and personal way than school history books did.

While much has changed since the 60's, racism and inequality are still rampant and deeply entrenched in so much of American society, even more than 50 years later. For that reason this is also a sobering read, especially considering the bold optimism that King projects about the progress society might make. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Dr. King’s words are gems – Profound. Written with the eloquence of Shakespeare and the timeliness of today’s headlines. This book dispels the mythical, classroom teachings that tout the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, as an accidental occurrence – shedding light on the intricate plans, tactics and maneuvers of dedicates individuals and groups who understood the gravity of the mission: None are free, until all are free.
Squelching racial bigotry and “Jim Crow” laws was the widely viewed aim of the mission – but Civil Rights are the Basic Rights – Human Rights. These are the rights that so many (including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) sacrificed and died to give to all disenfranchised people, everywhere...SMILE!!! ( )
  Madamxtra | Dec 30, 2018 |
An important book but repetitive. In light of the recent holiday it seemed like it would be a good idea to read this (it was also recommended to me). The reader learns more about non-violence, an expansion on the title on why black people can't wait, about Dr. King's thoughts and reasoning, plus the Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
 
I don't want to rehash the material since it's worth reading. And while I'm glad I read it, I will say that I agree with other reviewers that it's repetitive. It was good to read more about the thoughts and reasoning. It was also helpful to understand the time, effort, labor, planning, etc. that goes into these methods. In today's world a lot of people find it easy to sign an online petition or maybe go to one protest they read about on Facebook.
 
But the methods that were used in the fight for Civil Rights were more in depth, more detailed and required a lot more work. This is something that is perhaps lost on today's generation and this was a good reminder of the history and the work that we should not forget.
 
It's a relatively short book and it might not be for everyone. But it's important to read and remains highly relevant today. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
This book is about the life of people being a different color. It's starts off talking about the Emancipation of Proclamation when black people or bi-racial freedom. But in 1950-1963 African Americans were segregated from all white. They were not allowed to go to the same stores or any other places were white people were allowed to go and it was always like that for a very long time but then a man named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. showed up. He was a man who didn't believe in segregation and he would take march's and he gave his famous I have a dream speech. Many people believed in Martin and not everybody did because of the things that he was doing they used to be illegal back then so he was put in jail for the "wrong" thing s that he was doing. Eventually he was let out of jail and a couple years later in Memphis Tennessee he was assassinated on the balcony of his motel in 1968. In 2011 in Washington D.C they made a statue of him for the wonderful thing he did. ( )
  IyannaW.B4 | Jan 8, 2018 |
Why we can’t wait is Martin Luther King’s essay on the civil rights movement and the events of 1963, a pivotal year in the struggle, the year of the Birmingham protests and the year of the march on Washington when Dr. King told us “I have a dream.” When I first read the book in college, the events were fresh. Re-reading the book many years later, I am still impressed by the writing of Dr. King and his message is as relevant today as it was then.

The book explains why the movement decided to focus on Birmingham, perhaps the most oppressive city in Alabama for minorities, and the strategies of nonviolent protest. Included in the book is the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” which is a reply to clergy in Birmingham who asked for moderation. Dr. King explains why that time was now to change America and moderation was no longer acceptable. The events of 1963 led to political action by Lyndon Johnson and other members of Congress. Dr. King then goes on to explain why affirmative action (as we call it today) is necessary and desirable.

The author and TV host Glenn Beck holds Martin Luther King Jr. as one of the great men of the 20th century. Whether you agree with Beck or not, take his advice in reading original source materials from Dr. King himself, not what someone else has written about him. On the subject of civil rights, this book is a good place to start. ( )
1 vote fdholt | May 23, 2011 |
Exibindo 5 de 5
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King, Martin Luther, Jr.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Jackson, JessePosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Dr. King's best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963 On April 16, 1963, as the violent events of the Birmingham campaign unfolded in the city's streets, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., composed a letter from his prison cell in response to local religious leaders' criticism of the campaign. The resulting piece of extraordinary protest writing, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," was widely circulated and published in numerous periodicals. After the conclusion of the campaign and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, King further developed the ideas introduced in the letter in Why We Can't Wait,which tells the story of African American activism in the spring and summer of 1963. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by King, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. Often applauded as King's most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can't Waitrecounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. Disappointed by the slow pace of school desegregation and civil rights legislation, King observed that by 1963-during which the country celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation-Asia and Africa were "moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence but we still creep at a horse-and-buggy pace." King examines the history of the civil rights struggle, noting tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality, and asserts that African Americans have already waited over three centuries for civil rights and that it is time to be proactive- "For years now, I have heard the word 'Wait!' It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.' We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that 'justice too long delayed is justice denied.'"

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