I’m still absolutely amazed at the profound, powerful prose penned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the solitude of a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama. Yes, I am as moved as the rest of us by his historic “I have a dream” speech, but the first time I read Letter from Birmingham Jail I was stopped in my tracks. As I lingered over each sentence in the nine-page open letter to eight Birmingham clergymen, I was saddened, inspired, convicted.
That letter is what stands out for me about Dr. King. What surprised me most about it is the fact that he wrote this letter from said jail cell. I couldn’t write something on this level even if given months to do so. And I’m a “professional” communicator.
Even though it was written in 1963 and focused specifically on the civil rights struggle going on in our nation at the time, this letter still is relevant today. King eloquently reminds us that silence in the face of injustice is as horrific as the injustice itself. I embarrassingly admit that too many times I sit idly by in the safety of my comfortable life and think nothing of the tragedies going on in my world.
I encourage you to take 20 minutes out of your day and read it. This letter and the truths contained within it will be good for your mind, heart and soul. After reading it, feel free to stop back by and leave a comment on your take of the letter.
What stands out most for you about Dr. King?
*Image from Africa Within.