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Martin Luther King Jr.

            History is made up of significant events that shape our future, and leaders who influence .
             Martin Luther King launched the American Civil Rights movement in the 1955 .
             Montgomery Bus Boycott as the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. He was .
             later named to the board of directors of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in .
             1957. His book Why We Can't Wait outlines the important events of Civil Rights in the early .
             1960's. Why We Can't Wait centers on his Letter from Birmingham Jail and is bookended with .
             an historical account of the events leading to his arrest of April 12, 1963. The year 1963 marked .
             the 100-year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and Martin Luther King asks two .
             questions: why should we wait for emancipation? And aware of what White Americans were .
             doing to Black Americans, "What is the Negro doing for himself?" (King p. 8) Martin Luther .
             King concludes by pointing out the importance of expanding on the current campaign, what his .
             hopes are for the future, why he wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail, why the campaign was the .
             right thing to do, why America was a better place in January of 1964 than it was in January of .
             1963, and why America can't wait any longer to be wholly free. .
             Before Letter from Birmingham Jail can be fully understood, an historical foundation .
             must first be established. "In the summer of 1963 a need and a time and a circumstance and the .
             mood of a people came together." (King p. 13) Martin Luther King outlines the conditions of .
             Black America in the early 1960's, the steps they were taking to change their condition, and goes .
             into detail the conditions that existed specifically in Birmingham, Alabama. The Black .
             community was disappointed in the slow progress being made to de-segregate the school system. .
             With the Presidential election of John F. Kennedy, the Black community expected extensive civil .
             rights legislation.

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