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MLK’s Natural Law and the Existence of Political Obligation
Analytical Essay 2
On April 12, 1963, Good Friday, MLK led a group of 50 protestors peacefully into downtown
Birmingham, AL. Despite the peaceful façade, they were aware that their message would incite
confrontation, and as a result were quickly arrested. Eight white clergymen from Birmingham
wrote a letter, titled “A Call for Unity,” pleading with the African American community to let
the segregation issue resolve itself peacefully through the courts in order to avoid violence and
King’s response, his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” appealed to natural law to defend his
actions. For the purpose of this paper, I would like to read King’s response and determine
whether citizens have a political obligation to obey the law. What would King say? If we do have
a political obligation to obey the law, under what rationale would it reside?
Formatting Rules:
1. Include a Title Page with the title, your name, course, and date.
2. Use 12 point, Times New Roman font with 1” margins, double-spaced.
3. Use primary and secondary sources (NO wikipedia, cracked, howstuffworks, etc.).
a. Reputable news articles
b. Books
c. Published manuscripts
4. Use page numbers, but do not include the number on the first page.
5. Use in-text citation and include a Works Cited page.
a. I do not care which citation style you use, just be consistent.
6. Use proper writing style, spelling, and grammar.
7. 3-4 pages text length, NOT including the title page and works cited.
Due date is Wednesday, April 17th, at the beginning of class.

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