Historic Birmingham Letter to be read, discussed for 50th anniversary
One of the most important documents explaining and defending civil disobedience and civil rights will be read aloud and discussed from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday in Bizzell Memorial Library’s Boorstin Collection Room.
The “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” written by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, will be read in honor of the 50th anniversary of the document and of the protest to which it spoke, history professor Ben Keppel said. This event is one of 207 taking place throughout the country, coordinated by the Birmingham Public Library in Alabama.
After the reading, there will be a discussion about why this letter is still important 50 years later and if all the things King worked for have been accomplished, Keppel said.
“I hope students understand that even though Martin Luther King has been dead for 45 years he is still very relevant in our society. We as a society still have a lot of work to do to combat racism as well as economic equality. It’s not just about race,” he said.
Both the reading and discussion are open to the public, Keppel said. The nine-page letter will be split into 18 parts with 18 different readers, eight of which have already been chosen and the rest will be pulled from the audience.