“Because of his dedication to the cause of justice and the imperative of human dignity, he wrestled with the soul of a nation and challenged it to reach its highest destiny. King injected new meaning into the very veins of American society and gave his life to make our democracy real.”

Representative John Lewis (D-GA)

On the 50th Anniversary of "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

April 16th marks the 50th anniversary of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” a passionate response by Dr. King to eight white clergymen who argued that racial segregation should be fought in the courts and not by protest in the streets. The letter is Dr. King’s answer to claims that he was an outside agitator when he was, in reality, a peaceful protester, saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (More information... )

Why We Can't Wait Turns 50

Dorothy Cotton

Often applauded as King’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality.

The King Legacy series website is maintained by Beacon Press.