The letter from the Birmingham jail, April 16, 1963 was addressed to eight prominent white liberal Alabama clergymen, who had earlier published an open letter that called on King to allow for the battle of integration to continue in the local and federal courts, and warned that King's nonviolent resistance would have the effect of inciting civil disturbances. It is a long letter, he even acknowledges that, but on this day every year, I take the time to read it. I offer that possibility for you today as well. It is one of my favorite prophetic writings of all time, and on this day I post it in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A letter from the Birmingham Jail
16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. Read more »