Fifty years ago this April in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested for organizing a civil rights demonstration. He spent eight days in jail in solitary confinement, and it was there that he wrote his classic, vigorous defense of nonviolent civil disobedience, his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This week in Birmingham, Christian leaders gathered to apologize for 1960s-era moderates who had urged King to be patient and not permit direct confrontations. They also urged people of faith today to continue Dr. King’s anti-racism campaign.
Rev. Ron Sider, Evangelicals for Social Action: “Words alone are totally inadequate. Our words will remain cheap and empty unless we allow God to move us to new more vigorous action.”
Rev. Virgil Wood: “We have to come together and say what is the agenda that we share for fixing what’s broke—fixing broken people, broken families, broken nations, broken cities, broken communities.”
It was in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” that Dr. King wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”