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This Day in History, April 16th – A Letter from Prison

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It was 56 years ago today, April 16, 1963, that a man who had a dream wrote a letter from jail in hopes that others who believed like him, would share in that dream. Segregation and racism had been devastating the South for years. A young Baptist minister, amongst many others of different races, was trying to improve these conditions through non violent protests. However, this man was still arrested. While in jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received a newspaper dated on April 12, in which eight white Alabama Baptist clergymen called for the end of these protests, which they saw as adding to the violence over Civil Rights. A Call for Unity, as it was called, asked for King and his followers to allow the issue of Civil Rights to be decided in the courts and the legislature, rather through his disruptive but peaceful protests.

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Enraged by his fellow clergymen, who preached equality on Sunday, but not the six other days of the week, King penned his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail. In his letter, King talked about the horrors of racism in the South, and that without action, peaceful action, nothing would be accomplished. King was not preaching hate, as others would do as in the likes of Malcolm X and his followers, violence which had caused deaths. King could not understand his fellow minsters stance, both of them preach the same thing, both of them believe in the same God, then both should work together. The letter only garnered more attention for King’s nonviolent movement. 56 years ago today a man called upon his fellow man, if you believe in equality, practice what you preach. Man should not be judged by his color, but by the content of his character, my how we forget.


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