Radio Times

Revisiting King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

August 16, 2013

Guest:  Jonathan Rieder

[REBROADCAST] Fifty years ago this spring, 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 as “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 recent 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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