Written documents reflect what has happened. Actions that may have happened in history, give historical documents a reason to be. Although actions may not have occurred to cause documents to be written, they may have been just to prevent them from happening. Throughout American history, it is clear that many individuals have fought for justice in a society that has often denied it. We know this information from documents written by these individuals expressing their feelings on a certain subject. On the subject of human rights, the very popular Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose main philosophy on civil disobedience revolved around nonviolence, wrote a "Letter From Birmingham Jail" to eight clergymen informing them of the situation in Birmingham, Alabama, in April of 1963. In this letter King discusses how a law can be appear .
just, and when applied be unjust. Sometimes things are not always as they appear, just or unjust, moral or immoral. King knew he was living in the era of human rights and human freedom. The main obstacle was state power was being used against its own people. The solution was to undo or change the unjust laws through peaceful protests.
Because civil disobedience includes the violation laws, it is difficult to conclude whether an act is one of civil disobedience, or lawbreaking. During times of social strife- when a society is divided in opinion- there exists much controversy over whether or not certain acts of protest are qualified as civil disobedience. Within their definitions, the differences between civil disobedience and lawbreaking are clear. However, it is difficult to decipher whether a certain act is one of civil disobedience or lawbreaking, especially during a time when a society is divided and its differing opinions are non-negotiable. .
A key concept King used to describe this is a "law is .
unjust on its face and unjust in its application." He uses parading without a permit as an example.