Response: Letter from Birmingham Jail
After reading Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr I felt as if I couldn't pick just one phrase or paragraph. The entire document is full of emotionally moving and thought provoking writing. Through much deliberation I came to the conclusion that the most prominent part that stuck out in my mind was the following passage. "We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive." This, in my own opinion, really sums up the entire force behind King and other non-violent protesters.
The way King describes the situation he views is one with a more broad scape. He makes a solid point because he tells people that there is a very real problem out there and he is merely a messenger that brings to light the situation. I believe that King wanted to convince people that he wasn't the one who was the problem, like so much of his opposition sought. This statement of him specifying where the tension is originating from is key to the validity and strength of his argument. King's mission was to win his battle with words instead of actions. It was the perfect assault on his opponents.
There is no way that this one passage can be the most powerful of his words. Yet I believe it is critical in supporting his argument. King's writing moved me in a very positive way by applying a very different viewpoint of the racial tension in the first half of the 20th century.