Monday, January 18, 2010

Are you on the right side of the bars?





We remember Martin Luther King as a great orator, and a brave leader.
Sometimes overlooked is the fact that man could really wield a pen.

Text of Letter from a Birmingham jail

11 comments:

Stephanie Thornton said...

I have my high school students read that letter in its entirety. It's such a powerful text.

MaureenHume said...

I once read Martin Luther King's biography and I completely shocked and disappointed. If I'd ever met the man I don't think I would have liked him very much. I guess I had the vision of a saint in my head.
Having said that, the vision he had and the way he could put that vision into words was truly amazing. He was a man way ahead of his time.

orthor said...

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny."

Just brilliant. It's heartbreaking that such beauty of spirit and purpose was slain - it's uplifting to know it was not destroyed.

orthor said...

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny."

Just brilliant.

Laurel said...

I've always loved that letter. I lived in Argentina and taught English as a foreign language for a while and I used it for one of my advanced class lesson plans.

David said...

"Henry, why are you here? Waldo, why are you not here?"

Grimmster24 said...

Such a great piece of writing, Janet. I last read it in my African-American lit class at OSU. And I loved writing my thoughts about it even more. :-)

Marsha Sigman said...

Beautiful...thats called writing from the soul.

stacy said...

I read this letter in its entirety for the first time today. Thanks for posting it.

Jemi Fraser said...

I have a book with this photo posted deliberately beside The Road Less Traveled by Robert Frost. It's a great combination & I used it on Monday with my students. Great conversation :)

Lexy said...

This reminds me of the conversation from The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, when Henry David Thoreau is in jail for refusing to pay his taxes to finance the Mexican-American conflict (parallel to Vietnam). Ralph Waldo Emerson, the more do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do philosopher, goes to see him and exclaims,

"David! What are you doing in here?"

Thoreau replies, "No, Ralph. What are YOU doing out there?"

Real change requires sacrifice. MLKJr. showed us what it looks like.