Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Pt 1

It has been almost 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. One of the unfortunate byproducts of time is that the words of historical figures become less and less familiar each successive generation. While most Americans know who Martin Luther King Jr. is, and probably have a general idea of his role in fighting for equality for African-Americans in our country, how many have read and listened to his own words?

For me, as a white American pastor living in 21st century America, one of the most important and impactful pieces of King’s writing that I have ever read is his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. This letter was written by King in 1963 while imprisoned for non-violent demonstrations against segregation, and was addressed as an open letter to white Christian leaders in the South who urged caution and concern about King’s approach.

Instead of reading more words of mine, read Dr. King in his own words, and in my next post I will elaborate on what strikes me so powerfully about this letter:

PDF text of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Text of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and Audio of Martin Luther King Jr. Reading