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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is famous for several iconic statements, including the admonishment of "white moderates." But did you know that the "white moderates" Dr. King was referring to were specific local clergymen in Birmingham who had written an open letter opposing the protests he helped to organize? These clergy are dubbed "The Birmingham Eight." Who were these men? What did it mean for them to be "moderate," and how did they respond to Dr. King's letter? And what can this incident in American history teach us about allyship?
Citations: “A Call for Unity: Text and Background.” Dallas Baptist University. https://www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/documents/ACallforUnityTextandBackground.pdf
Gilbreath, Edward. 2013. Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Epic Challenge to the Church. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
“Harmon, Nolan B. (Nolan Bailey), 1982-1993: Manuscript Number 134.” 2009. Pitts Theology Library, Emory University. January 27. http://pitts.emory.edu/archives/text/mss134.html
King, Martin Luther. 1963. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” University of Pennsylvania. April 16. https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
Mathews, Donald [Paul Hardin, Jr.]. 1989. “Interview with Paul Hardin Jr.“ University of North Carolina. December 8. https://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/html_use/C-0071.html
Montgomery, Brandt L. 2017. “Bishop Carpenter and Civil Rights in Alabama.” Covenant. August 10. https://livingchurch.org/covenant/2017/08/10/bishop-carpenter-and-civil-rights-in-alabama/#_ftn4
Saxon, Wolfgang. 2006. “Rev. Earl Stallings, 89, Pastor Praised by Jailed Dr. King, Dies.” The New York Times. March 4. https://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/04/us/rev-earl-stallings-89-pastor-praised-by-jailed-dr-king-dies.html
Stallings, Earl, et. al. 1963. “An Appeal for Law and Order and Common Sense.” January 16. https://genius.com/Alabama-clergymen-an-appeal-for-law-and-order-and-common-sense-annotated
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