In his cell, fifty years ago this week, Dr. King wrote what became known as the manifesto of the civil rights movement, the "Letter from Birmingham Jail," in which he set forth his views on justice and nonviolence and challenged the consciences not just of his addressees but of the world
Martin Luther King transformed the local criticism of eight clergymen into a national response for the movement. His "Letter From Birmingham Jail" is probably the most important document written during the Civil Rights Movement.
This month presents an opportune moment to reflect upon what guidance Dr. King's poignant words can offer our society in addressing what some have called "the new civil rights movement": the same-sex marriage movement.
We need to resurrect the message in MLK's Letter From a Birmingham Jail -- the message that continues to call us to seek justice and to understand that "a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
I would have preferred my beautiful boy ask me a different question. Something like, "How did I get inside mommy's stomach when I was a baby?" As parent-child discussions go, Reproductive Biology is easier than race relations and the Civil Rights Movement.
Of the 50 people I spoke to (mostly college and high school students) at Madison Square Garden, not one of them was familiar with the Letter from Birmingham Jail. I know what you are thinking: "Thank heaven Alona had a copy!"
After three days in D.C.'s Central Cell Block, I'll go to this weekend's big celebrations for the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on the Washington Mall with even more respect for MLK's calm power.