“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

Today, April 16, is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”  The letter was written to fellow ministers who questioned MLK’s timing and strategy in pushing for justice and freedom and equality.

Like all of MLK’s speeches and writing, it’s profound, eloquent, prophetic, universal and enduring:  

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

Give yourself the gift of reading and sharing this letter today.

Text: http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Audio:  https://soundcloud.com/splcenter/audio-martin-luther-king

-Julie Drizin

 

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