60th Anniversary of MLK Jr.’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Community members gathered at the Mahoning County Courthouse at noon Monday to read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in honor of the 60th anniversary of his writing the letter.

The letter was written in response to moderate leaders of the religious community in Birmingham, who asked King to wait and not hold marches and demonstrations against segregation because of the fear of violence.

“I think the key takeaway is a call to action,” says Penny Wells, director of the Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past. “We need to be using our voice, possibly our feet, but we need to think first. We need to be sure it’s nonviolent action that we’re taking, but we need to speak up and speak out and not be that silent witness.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.