1968: The Global Revolutions

Freedom Struggles: Get Organized! > Letter from Birmingham Jail

Jailed for participating in civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., used scraps of paper he found in his cell to write notes on freedom and resistance. Arguing that the value of justice should outweigh the comforts of maintaining law and order, King expressed grave disappointment with white moderates who spoke of the need for integration while rebuking protesters’ tactics. First published in The New Leader, King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” would become a key text for subsequent racial-justice movements, including Black Lives Matter.

The New Leader
Layout Proof, 1963
The New Leader Records

Geller, Barry
Artwork for The New Leader, 1965
The New Leader Records

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