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Social science essay

Master Scope

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was likely the most accomplished and influential leader of the U.S. “Civil Rights Movement” of the 1950s and 1960s. More than this, he was among the most prominent and accomplished activists for the actual implementation of human rights in the global “rights revolution” that followed the end of the Second World War.

Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail is replicated on Moodle. In that letter, Dr. King outlines the basics of his philosophy of human rights, specifically on how one ought to pursue government recognition of and respect for human rights. In doing so, he responded to various criticisms leveled at him and his followers (and other human rights activists).


Read Dr. King’s letter and:

Explain why he rejected the criticism that he and his followers were “outsiders” interfering in local matters that were none of their business.

Outline his two different responses to the criticism that he and his followers were causing tension in the community by their non-violent protest actions. (One response is more obvious than the other.)

Explain briefly how he justifies his law-breaking, and summarize the steps he says anyone must take if she or he is to justify law-breaking.

Explain briefly what he means by “the myth of time”, or “tragic misconception of time”, and what this means for human rights activists.

Critique his position: explain briefly the extent to which you believe the standards he sets out are appropriate to measure the actions of human rights activists in 2019.


You should be able to complete this assignment in less than 2 typed (double-spaced) pages. 500 words

No need for a title page. No need to cite sources, because you’ll only be using the one.

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