Bernice A. King
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CHALLENGE:

Before sharing another quote from my father or asserting what he would stand for or against today, read #LetterFromBirminghamJail and comment on this post with something you learned. Share this challenge.

Letter: https://www.africa.upenn.e...
09:27 AM - Jun 28, 2023
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Laura Diamondstone
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In response to Bernice A. King.
I read this letter at least once a year & whenever my white moderate/liberal/ even progressive skinfolk do more harm than help & whenever I approach 'tension' with knee-jerk critique rather than more research, understanding, support.
01:20 PM - Nov 01, 2023
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Joe JustUs
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In response to Bernice A. King.
Even though my high school library said the book was always “loaned out” for the entire year,
I read it at 17 years old and it taught me the power of conviction and unbreakable determination. 💯✊🏾
04:59 PM - Aug 28, 2023
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Anton Brakhage
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In response to Bernice A. King.
There are many things that struck me reading this, not least the tragedy that its closing hope is still so unfulfilled. But I think the first thing that really stood out to me was the deep appreciation he showed for the interconnectedness of the world- something that is often on my mind.
05:22 AM - Jul 03, 2023
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Deb Prothero
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In response to Bernice A. King.
Your father predicted the current state of the church. "If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century."
05:18 AM - Jul 03, 2023
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Heather Torrance
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In response to Bernice A. King.
Ms. King, do you know if he wrote a draft, or if this just poured out of him as we see it now? I know it's not the point of the letter, but when he talks about how he normally doesn't have time for correspondence, and apologizes later for the length... 1/2
10:37 AM - Jul 02, 2023
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Heather Torrance
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In response to Heather Torrance.
I ask because writing that seems effortless often is a lot of work. But the fact that he was writing this in a jail cell, and something about the structure, does make it seem spontaneous. It's an astounding letter either way. Thank for you the prompt to re-read. 2/2
10:38 AM - Jul 02, 2023
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Theresa Martínez Flannery
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In response to Bernice A. King.
I teach your father’s letter to my students in AP US Government and Politics. They are so engaged in its ideas and so captivated. We learned that “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor” and that direct action must be taken against unjust laws. Much more than this space allows as well.
02:55 AM - Jul 02, 2023
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MrBill
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In response to Bernice A. King.
I’m amazed in reading this again after many years, the candor of your father’s dilemma in that moment… addressing progress versus pushback, action vs over action vs no action… it reminds us that the key features of a true leader are humanity and candor… and we cannot solve what we will not face…
11:23 PM - Jul 01, 2023
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TeeEmEff
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In response to Bernice A. King.
"I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action."
10:46 PM - Jul 01, 2023
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Hector West
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In response to Bernice A. King.
This is an anchor text in my AP English Language course. I try and time it so we read it in February. I learn something every year I read it, whether it be a rhetorical nuance or a reference that I look up. A canonical piece of writing, to be sure.

Thank you.
10:31 PM - Jul 01, 2023
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ميجان the Librarian
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In response to Bernice A. King.
“You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.” This is a passage that my fellow white folks CONSISTENTLY overlook in critiquing protest.
10:16 PM - Jul 01, 2023
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Sassy Musing
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In response to Bernice A. King.
"WHATEVER AFFECTS ONE DIRECTLY, AFFECTS ALL INDIRECTLY. 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."
[emphasis mine]
12:08 AM - Jun 30, 2023
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Jean Clark
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In response to Bernice A. King.
Thank you for sharing this. I had not read it before in full. So powerful and so full of uncomfortable truths.
09:26 PM - Jun 29, 2023
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Claudia Citro
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In response to Bernice A. King.
Challenge accepted. I’ll get back with you tomorrow.
09:16 PM - Jun 29, 2023
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DMA Anderson
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In response to Bernice A. King.
For me, it still is "Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was 'well timed' in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation." Progress remains challenged by the constant demand for comfort.
10:51 PM - Jun 28, 2023
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Yuri Cartier
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In response to Bernice A. King.
His assertion that time is not neutral and we should not be lulled into thinking the mere passage of time will somehow bring about the world we hope to inhabit.
10:40 PM - Jun 28, 2023
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Bev Turner
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In response to Bernice A. King.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
09:29 PM - Jun 28, 2023
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Laurie George Busuttil
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In response to Bernice A. King.
Your father's description of "moderates" was challenging. I don't like to "rock the boat" and I see myself in his challenging words.

I was also aware that his description of how Black people were treated (par. 12) is much like how our Canadian Indigenous people have been treated.

I am sorry.
03:51 PM - Jun 28, 2023
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Jacquelyn G.
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In response to Bernice A. King.
That questioning authority and determining for yourself whether you chose to follow a law that is unjust is a choice we all have make. Being blind to injustice simply because it doesn’t affect you directly is an indefensible dereliction of humanity.
09:52 AM - Jun 28, 2023 (Edited)
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Jacquelyn G.
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In response to Jacquelyn G..
I grew up in a culture where authority was unquestioned, so this was a complete revelation for me.
10:01 AM - Jun 28, 2023
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