In 2017, Square Books honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a community reading of "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The letter, composed while King was in jail on April 16, 1963, came as a forceful theological and humane response to a group of Alabama clergy members who had openly criticized King for a perceived impatience during a crucial early period of the Civil Rights Movement. For the reading, more than thirty community members read a paragraph from the letter. It was a moving and unifying reading resulting in a sense of empowerment and solidarity. All in attendance were inspired and we resolved to repeat the reading every year.
Recognizing that the holiday celebrating the life of MLK is not only a time to reflect on the past, but a time to examine on our lives today as well as plan for the better future he envisioned. Everyone is invited to attend Saturday, January 18th at 5:00 pm at Off Square Books, 129 Courthouse Square.
The letter is included in Reverend King's book, Why We Can't Wait. According to Square Books' Richard Howorth, "King began writing the letter in the margins of a newspaper in which the ministers' letter had appeared, and it is considered to be one of the great literary documents of American history. We are excited to help the community remember and celebrate the life of this great man." King was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace the following year, 1964.
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