Letter From Birmingham Jail

Foundational Document.

Remember Martin Luther King, Jr. for bringing attention to the racial injustices of the South and for his efforts to press government for improvements in race policy.

King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” which is still copyrighted to King’s estate, but you can read with the Archival version, or print-friendly version, as the speech is still copyrighted. The letter is one of the nine foundational documents students are expected to know on the national AP Exam. 

Read the Letter and answer the questions that follow.



1. Explain how Dr. King distinguishes a just law and an an unjust law.

2. Describe the spectrum of forces working on race issues and where Dr. King is within that movement.