Why We Couldn’t Wait

1.      What happened to Martin Luther King, Jr. in the late 1950s and how did he use it as a metaphor for the situation in this country in the summer of 1963? (3 points)

Martin Luther King was exiled and forced tom leave his home in the late 1950’s.  This has led him to improve the lives of people like him in the American society.  As he fought for his freedom, he also did so for many other black men.  He used the inequality and the discrimination he suffered in order to empower himself and to help his fellow African American

2.      What were the two causes of disillusionment among black people in 1963? (3points)

In the year 1963, blacks were disillusioned for a number of causes.  Two of these causes include the continuous discrimination and inequality they suffer from among their white counterparts. Blacks also continue to face economic inequality particularly in terms of employment; equal employment opportunities and in employment standards.

3.      MLP: When he (the black man) seeks opportunity, he is told, in effect, to lift himself up by his own bootstraps, advice that does not take into account the fact he is barefoot.  What does this statement mean? (3 points)

When the black man is advised to seek opportunity, it means that he should try to make himself and his life better independently and through his own efforts.  This holds true especially with the fact that most blacks are stripped of with these opportunities and that he may not have the means to seize such opportunities.

4.      The year 1963 was the 100th anniversary of what? (2 points)

a.       The Emancipation Proclamation. B. the end of the civil war C. Lincoln’s assassination D. all of the above

Answer: a. Emancipation Proclamation

5.      MLK called nonviolent direction the sword that heals.  In what way was this true? (2 points)

Non violent direction is indeed the sword that heals in the sense that it is a way to settle disputes in peaceful manner that as it heals certain wounds; it does not cause to create new ones.

6.      What irony did MLK see in the following statement:  The justification for risking the annihilation of the human race (with nuclear weapon) was always expressed in terms of America’s willingness to go to any length of preserve freedom? (3 points)

The irony in this statement is that as the United States continues to preserve freedom, the use of nuclear weapon could render all these efforts futile. The threat of nuclear weapon continues to threaten the preservation of freedom not only in the United States but even for the rest of the nations around the world as against the power of nuclear weapon-using countries.

7.      When a governor has ten appointed positions to fill and he seeks to fill one of them with a member of a minority group in order to pacify that group so that they won’t ask for more, this is an example of? (3 points)

This is an example of affirmative action. Although the purpose of affirmative action is not to pacify the minority sector, it also has the same effect because minority groups seek for equality and to pacify them, affirmative action may be used.

8.      After World War I there was a movement, which advocated for the return of black people to Africa.  Why did it fail? (3 points)

The movement to return back black people in Africa failed because many of the black people did not want to go back to Africa as they see more opportunities beyond Africa.

9.      What were the two reason why most black people were against using violence in the fight for equal rights” (3 points)

The civil rights movement, despite its chaotic nature, is also characterized by peaceful means of fighting inequality.  Many blacks were against the use of violence to fight inequality for a number of reasons.  One of these reasons is that the blacks were urged by leaders to fight peacefully and to adhere to peaceful means.  They believed that equality can be achieved through peaceful means and without the use of violence.

10.  Which of the following is a novel about an unarmed southern lawyer who disperses a mob wishing to lynch a black defendant with the force of his moral courage? (2 points)

a.      Crime and Punishment B. To Kill a Mockingbird C. Gone with the Wind D. Mississippi Burning

Answer: d. Mississippi Burning

11.   What two roles did television play in the success of the Civil Rights Movement? (4 points)

Television played a vital role in the success of the Civil Rights Movement.  One of the important roles that the television played in this success is on the aspect of information dissemination and in the campaign for support.  The television helped to gather support for the movement and to stage various efforts in support thereof.  The television, as it is closely linked to the media, also served to carry put how the media has played to the success of the civil rights movement.

12.  Why do you think it was important for the black man to look back at a white man, eye to eye? (3 points)

It is important for the black man to look back straight at a white man’s eyes in order to emphasize that they are equal and that the white man is in no way superior. The look in the eye signifies confidence and relays a message for the white man that the black man is not afraid and in no way can be subordinated.

13.  TF Hundreds of blacks were killed in civil rights demonstrations in 1963. (2 points)

Answer: True

14.  According to MLK, what was the ultimate tragedy of Birmingham? (3 points)

According to Martin Luther King, Jr., the ultimate tragedy of Birmingham, is not the fact that it was coupled with violence but the fact that despite the chaos, many of the good people remained silence and chose not to interfere with the conflict leaving the minority groups or the oppressed stripped of with any help they can get from these good people (Carson, 1998).

15.  What did Birmingham public officials do when they were court-ordered to open the city’s public recreation facilities? (2 points)

a.      They defied the court order and put police officers in place to keep black people out

b.      They gave up and opened the facilities to all

c.       They closed the facilities down

d.      They appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court

Answer:  a.

16.   What are some of the preparatory activities undertaken by civil rights leaders before the demonstrations in Birmingham in 1963? (2 points)

Before the demonstrations in Birmingham in 1963, there were various activities staged by the blacks and civil rights leaders in preparation for the big demonstrations.   Among these preparatory activities are the various speeches made on public venues and forum.   These speeches were primarily to gather support not only among the black community but also from other individuals and groups with similar ends.

17.  Who said, “You have to be prepared to die before you can begin to live?” (2 points)

a.      Martin Luther King, Jr.

b.      Harry Belafonte

c.       Fred Shuttlesworth

d.      Nelson Rockefeller

Answer: a. Martin Luther King, Jr.

18.   What did MLK say about the importance of the freedom song? (2 points)

According to Martin Luther King, Jr. a freedom song creates bond or ring among the people especially those seeking freedom.  It also helps to strengthen the spirit for all those who fight for freedom.

19.  TF Only those who were deemed able to respond nonviolently to extreme provocation were allowed to participate in the actual demonstrations in Birmingham. (2 points)

Answer: False

20.  Which of the following is a reason why there was black opposition to the demonstrations in Birmingham in 1963? (2 points)

a.      Many black people had been made to feel inferior for so long that they didn’t know how to resist the influences that conditioned them to go along with the white man’s views.

b.      Black businessmen worried that white retaliation would hurt their business.

c.       Some black people were worried that they would be fired from their jobs as a result of the demonstrations.

d.      Some felt that the city government which had just been elected should be given time to make changes.

e.       A and D

Answer: e. A and D

21.   When the civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham continued after a court injunction against demonstration was issued this was an example of: (2 points)

a.      Civil disobedience

b.      Injunction violation

c.       Justified law breaking

d.      Anarchy

Answer:  a. Civil Disobedience

22.  What did MLK say about a person’s legal and moral responsibility regarding the law? (3 points)

According to Martin Luther King, Jr.,  a person has legal and moral responsibility to obey and follow the law.  Everyone is morally and legally bound to respect the law.

23.  When teens were recruited to join the demonstrations in Birmingham, the national media criticized black leaders for using black children in this fashion, why was this ironic? (3 points)

This is very ironic because it is very hard to believe how people who discriminated and mal-treated these children and the blacks in general are the ones now using supposed care to criticize the actions of the black leaders.

24.  Which of the following statements is true? (2 points)

a.      During the period of civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, most white residents remained neutral.

b.      The demonstrations ended when business leaders and civil rights leaders reached an accord.

c.       In May 1963 segregationists bombed the Birmingham home of MLK’s brother and MLK’s motel room.

d.      All of the above.

Answer:  d. all of the above

25.   According to MLK, how were the civil rights movement in Birmingham and the battle of Bunker Hill alike? (3 points)

The civil rights movement in Birmingham and the battle of Bunker Hill are similar in some aspects.  According to Martin Luther King Jr., they are alike in the sense that they are both revolutionary efforts.  They are also alike in the sense that the battle of Bunker Hill  is also a battle by African Americans just like the civil rights movement.

26.  TF The management of U.S. Steel, Birmingham’s most important business, many supported the civil rights movement. (2 points)

Answer: True

27.  TF By the end of the summer of 1963, the majority of northern whites and close to a majority of southern whites, were in favor of laws guaranteeing equal rights to black people. (2 points)

Answer:  False

28.  According to MLK, what did man have to recognize in order to emerge from barbarity? ( 3 points)

According to martin Luther King, in order to emerge from barbarity, man has to recognize the inequality and the injustice that he suffers.  He must recognize what is really happening in his surroundings.

29.  Which country practiced affirmative action before the United States? (2 points)

a.      France

b.      India

c.       Canada

d.      Greece

Answer:  c. Canada

30.  TF MLK was in favor of legislation that would help poor white people as well as poor black people. (2 points)

Answer:  True

31.  Choose five short passages that show character traits of MLK and the explanation the trait is revealed (25 points)

First of all, Martin Luther King was a revolutionary hero.  In fact, in his book, Why can’t We Wait, he said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”. He was a leader, and he said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a model of consensus” (Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes, n.d.).  He is also a peace loving person and believes in non-violent means to achieve goals.  He said, “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal” (Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes, n.d.). In line with this character, he also said, “nonviolent action, the Negro saw, was the way to supplement, not replace, the progress of change” (Martin Luther King Quotes).  As he also added, “nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time:…” (Martin Luther King Quotes, n.d.).



Carson, C. (1998).  The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Warner Book.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes (n.d.).  Retrieved June 24, 2009, from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/martin_luther_king_jr.html

Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes (n.d.).  Retrieved June 24, 2009, from http://thinkexist.com/quotes/martin_luther_king,_jr./

Martin Luther King Quotes (n.d.).  Retrieved June 24, 2009, from http://www.mlkonline.net/quotes.html