- List All

  • Web   The Point


+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory

« Martin Luther King, Jr., on the role of the church | Main | Daily roundup »

January 19, 2009

Teaching ’Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ in Africa

As an English teacher, I have taught Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" more times than I can count. Aside from its value as a landmark document on human rights from a Biblical worldview, it is quite simply one of the most perfect examples of an argumentation essay one can read, and therefore serves as a great model for students to emulate.

The most recent lesson took place in May 2008 while I was acting as a visiting teacher at Kankan University in Guinea, West Africa. The students had learned about Dr. King, but they had never had a chance to read this letter, or to hear from an American who was old enough to remember both segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. (You know you're getting old when you lived through the history lesson you're teaching!) It proved to be a wonderful occasion both to grieve over the darker aspects of America's history and celebrate just how far we've come as a nation. 

An analysis of the letter would take too long for this post, but I urge all our Pointificators to spend a few moments today reading Dr. King's remarkable words, penned in response to other clergymen who saw him only as a "trouble-maker," not as a man of deep faith who knew that God calls Christians to be counter-cultural. The distinction he draws between just and unjust laws -- and the way in which he personally modeled a Christian's responsibility in the face of unjust laws -- is one we all need to embrace.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Teaching ’Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ in Africa:


The comments to this entry are closed.