Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea.Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham.
A statement published in This prompted King to write a lengthy response, begun in the margins of the newspaper.
He smuggled it out with the help of his lawyer, and the nearly 7,000 words were transcribed.
Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham’s economic community.
In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants—for example, to remove the stores’ humiliating racial signs.
We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise.
So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.
On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations.
As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise.
Right: In 1967, King serves out the sentence from his arrest four years earlier in Birmingham, Alabama.
In April 1963, King was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, after he defied a state court’s injunction and led a march of black protesters without a permit, urging an Easter boycott of white-owned stores.