Radio Times

Revisiting King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

April 24, 2013

Guest:Ā  Jonathan Rieder

Fifty years ago this month, from his cramped, dirty jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr. drafted a letter in response to eight white moderate clergymen who had issued a statement criticizing the civil rights protests of blacks and called King an outsider and extremist whose efforts for equality asā€¯ unwise and untimely.” King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” eloquently made the case for non-violent demonstrations and the urgency of the movement to end segregation. The letter has since become a beacon for peaceful protesters throughout the world. In his new book, Gospel of Freedom, King scholar JONATHAN RIEDER tells the story of King’s letter while providing a snapshot of its author at a time when King thought the civil rights movement was destined to fail.

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