Letter from a Birmingham Jail

This morning, the cats woke me up around 4 (love ’em) and so I brewed a cup of coffee and dug  through my bookshelf to find my copy of “A Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Which I usually do this time ever year.  I read it and re-read it and I get more out of every time.

Janet asked me to blurb because it’s good for the sales of the book. She’s gonna read this one and said, “Fer cryin out loud…” Yeah, she’s right.

It was 1963. The ministers in Atlanta was pissed at King for coming to town and demonstrating. There’d just been a new election. “Wait,” they said. “Let the new mayor prove himself.”

Dr. King didn’t wait. He protested and spent a night in jail. His points were these:

The privileged rarely give up their privileges without a fight.

It was 1963, and Asia and Africa were moving with “jet-like speed” toward independence while the south was moving with “horse and buggy speed” toward allowing a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Think about that for a minute.

He was a man who believed in following a just law, and not following an unjust law. He quoted St. Augustine in saying, “An unjust law is no law at all.”

I’m a journalist and a novelist. It’s my job to tell stories, real and unreal. Dr. King’s story need to be told again and again, to anyone who’s standing still.

Have a good day.

About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on January 18, 2010, in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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