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The Fight Against Social Injustice

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Submitted By aumack421
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Michael Dalton Humphries Professor Breedlove English 2131 28 September 2011

The Fight against Social Injustices Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther king both stood up and fought against social injustices. Thoreau wrote his essay “Civil Disobedience” to express his views on the role of government. Thoreau also expressed his ideas about what men should do to stand up to a government that sought to suppress its citizens. King started reading Thoreau during his school years and adopted his non-violent ways of protest. He molded his actions around Thoreau’s essay and fought for equal rights for the African American community. Both authors sought peaceful means to protest against things they deemed social injustices. In Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and King’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” they present the problems with current societies and a peaceful way to bring those problems to the forefront. Thoreau and King both show their selflessness when they sacrificed their personal freedom for an issue. Thoreau was thrown in jail for not paying a poll tax. He refused to pay the tax because; he did not support slavery and the Mexican America war. Although Thoreau’s views in “Civil Disobedience” were his own and he was not trying to push them on anyone, they obviously had a profound impact on Martin Luther King. Writer Michael Mink of Investors Business Daily said this about King, “He was fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system, he was so deeply moved that he reread the work several times. King became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good” (Pa 1). King was inspired by Thoreau and wanted to bring the issues of the time to the forefront of society. He wanted to create such upheaval that the government had no choice but to deal with the issues...

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