(Christian Century) "Letter from Birmingham Jail" at 50

Fifty years ago, in June 1963, the Christian Century found itself near the center of American public debate when it was the first large-circulation magazine to publish the full text of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The letter would shortly thereafter stand as the manifesto of those King led in pursuing African-American civil rights in the mid-1960s by means of nonviolent direct action. And it eventually assumed pride of place alongside Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” as a touchstone for the theory and practice of civil disobedience in American protest politics.

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