Journal Social Commentary essay

Journal:Social Commentary

Journal:Social Commentary

Significanceof Killing of the Four Little Girls in Birmingham

TheAfrican-Americans society went through many challenges in an attemptto have the government abolish racial discrimination and segregation.They attempted to push for their agenda through strikes, sit-ins, andfreedom rides, but their efforts received minimal or no reaction fromthe government. On September 15 1963, the fight for equal rightschanged when the bombing in Birmingham church killed four littlegirls (Zinn, 2003). The event received immediate and significanteffects since it resulted in both a triumph and a tragedy in thefight for equal rights. The bombing was the worst act of violence tooccur during the civil rights movement and evoked criticism and angerfrom all over the world. The black community was outraged over theincident, which caused violent clashes between the police andprotestors (Zinn, 2003).

However,the murders were meant to frighten the African-American community,but instead they gave the civil rights movement more supporters andfinancial help from churches and other group’s national wide. Itattracted the national attention to the hard fought and dangerousstruggle for the civil rights (Zinn, 2003). Consequently, it was amajor turning point in the civil rights movement and first stage toending centuries-long struggle for freedom. The murders exposed thedepth of racial hatred and convinced many people that the objectivesof the civil rights movement were justified. Subsequently, it led tothe passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and later Voting RightsAct of 1965 (Zinn, 2003).

Compareand Contrast Letter from Birmingham Jail and Ballad of Birmingham


Letter from Birmingham jail

Ballad of Birmingham


Eight white clergymen who were punishing Martin Luther King for non-violent protests against racial discrimination and segregation

Both adults and young people


King wanted to answer criticism for his present activities in the civil rights movement. He also wanted to share his goals and encourage the African-Americans that their efforts will be worthwhile in eliminating racial discrimination, which will bring love and brotherhood all over the country (Zinn, 2003).

To explain how bombing a small church took away innocent lives. It also explained how people lived in danger because they did not know when such violent acts would occur. Thus, it aims to open the eyes of the people who are not familiar with the bombing story and struggle for equal rights (Zinn, 2003).


Inspirational, calm, and hopeful








HowKing`s Eulogy of the Four Girls Consistent with the Message in Letterfrom Birmingham Jail

Boththe eulogy of the four girls and the letter from Birmingham jail weremeant to console the people due to the suffering they went through inthe struggle for equal rights and urge them not to give up the fight.Just as the eulogy of the four girls, Martin Luther King’s letterfrom Birmingham jail did not call off the demonstration due to thecontinued bloodshed at the hands of law enforcement officials (Zinn,2003). In both occasions, King urged the people to use non-violentapproaches to fight racism and advised them to respect the dignityand worth of all human life. Heasked the African-American community not to be resentful in spite ofthe violence and injustices they faced. Additionally,the letter echoed his words during the funeral where he condemned thehypocrisy of the federal government, which was cooperating with theunfair practices of the Southern Democrats and unconcealed pretenceof the Northern Republicans. He reiterated that the blacks had towork unrelentingly and passionately so that they could achieve theAmerican dream (Zinn, 2003).

King’swords in both the letter and eulogy advised the people not to give upthe fight against racial discrimination and segregation. Instead, heurged them to be hopeful that their actions would succeed in helpingthe whites recognize the significance of all human life despite theskin color. Theeulogy fueled the already enraged crowd similar to the letter, whichshowed King’s continued support for the civil rights movement(Zinn, 2003).


Zinn,H. (2003). Apeople`s history of the United States.New York: The New Press.