After reading the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”, I was interested in finding a website that would provide an in-depth insight into the man himself. I came across several, but eventually settled on one, www.thekingcenter.org. The website is associated with “The King Center”, which was established in 1986 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. It acts as both a living memorial and programmatic nonprofit to the man himself. “It is used as both a local and global resource, dedicated to educating the world on the life, legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All of the King Center’s works and papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have been digitized, are fully searchable, and are available to be viewed, unedited, at the touch of a button.
It was interesting to read an article about the ‘Letter from the Birmingham Jail’ itself. His daughter Ms. King explains the somewhat constricting circumstances. I didn’t know for example that the letter was actually “begun on the margins of newspapers, the letter was continued on scraps of writing paper supplied by a friendly Negro trusty, and concluded on a pad his attorneys were eventually permitted to leave him.” It also went further than the book we are reading for this course, it provides additional context around the famous letter, specifically in response to the clergyman. Here are two excerpts that I found to be interesting:
* “To the clergymen’s statement that the nonviolent demonstrations were “extreme,” Dr. King responded that Jesus, too, was an extremist, and "So, the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?”
* “I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass...