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Letter from the Birmingham Jail  

Last Updated: May 9, 2013 URL: http://libguides.marquette.edu/Birmingham_Jail Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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This Research Guide was developed to accompany the speech at Marquette University given by Fr. Bryan Massingale on January 22, 2013, entitled "King's Birmingham City Jail Letter 50 Years Later."  The speech was part of the Freedom Project at Marquette commemmorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Boxes on this page:

 

Academic Articles--Religious Journals

 

Academic Articles--Literary, Cultural, and Communications Journals

Project Muse

Search on:  "Birmingham jail"

 

Academic Articles--History, Law, and Political Science Journals

JSTOR

Start with a smaller set by limiting your search to the title field.  Click on the dropdown arrow to the right of the first search window and select "item title."  Then enter:  "Birmingham jail".  If you want many more hits change the search to "full-text." 

 

Academic Articles--Law Reviews

Lexis Nexis Academic

In the column on the left select US Legal.  Under US Legal select Law Reviews.  In the first search window enter "Birmingham jail".  In the window to the right marked Everywhere click on the dropdown arrow and select At Least 5 Occurrences.  If you want more hits go back and select Everywhere, but you will get many irrelevant hits.

 

Reenactment of Martin Luther King Writing the Letter

This video is a reenactment with Cory Jones acting as Martin Luther King, Jr. Directed by Ya'Ke Smith. Actor starts talking at 4:12 and it goes with the 48 paragraph letter word for word.  It was produced by the University of Texas's McComb School of Management.  Click on More Information on the top right of the screen.

 

Editions of the Letter

Background on the writing of the letter from The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford.

The complete text from The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford.

An excerpted text from TeachingkAmericanHistory.org.

The letter from white clergy to which King responded. The reenactment in the box above also contains the letter from white clergy to which King reacted.

 

Search Our Catalog

Search for books, articles, images, DVDs, & more...

 

Sample Books at MU

Cover Art
Blessed Are the Peacemakers : Martin Luther King, Jr., eight white religious leaders, and the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" - S. Jonathan Bass; Martin Luther King
Call Number: F334.B69 N415 2001 Memorial Level 2 Reading Room
Publication Date: 2001
In print only. Click title for bibliographic entry.

Cover Art
Why We Can't Wait - Martin Luther King
Call Number: E185.61 .K545 1964 Memorial Level 2 Reading Room
Publication Date: 1964
In print only. Click on title for bibliographic entry.

Cover Art
Cradle of Freedom : Alabama and the movement that changed America - Frye Gaillard
Call Number: E185.93.A3 G35 2004 Memorial Level 2 Reading Room
ISBN: 0817313885
Publication Date: 2004
In print only. Click title for bibliographic entry.

Cover Art
Pillar of Fire : America in the King years, 1963-65 - Taylor Branch
Call Number: E185.61 .B7915 1998 Memorial Level 2 Reading room
Publication Date: 1998
In print only. Click title for bibliographic entry.

Cover Art
Gospel of Freedom - Jonathan Rieder
ISBN: 9781620400586
Publication Date: 2013
Scholar Jonathan Rieder delves deeper than anyone before into the Letter-illuminating both its timeless message and its crucial position in the history of civil rights. Rieder has interviewed Kings surviving colleagues, and located rare audiotapes of King speaking in the mass meetings of 1963.

 

Encyclopedia Entries

Birmingham Campaign (1963) from the King Institute Encyclopedia (Stanford)

Martin Luther King Jr. from Britannica Online

Martin Luther King Jr. from American National Biography Online

 

Chicago Defender

Chicago Defender (1910-1975)

The Chicago Defender was a national black newspaper during most of the 20th century.

When you click on the above link you will land on the homepage of the Black Studies Center.  Under Keywords enter "Birmingham jail".  Under Publication Year enter 1963 to 1964.  Under Content Type uncheck all boxes except Newspapers.  Click on Search.

 

New York Times

New York Times (1851-2001)


In the first search window enter "Birmingham jail".  Under Date Range select Specific Date Range, using the dropdown arrow to the right of the search box.  Enter March 1 to June 1, 1963.  Click on Search.

 

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune (1849-1986)

In the first search window enter "Birmingham jail".  Under Date Range select Specific Date Range, using the dropdown arrow to the right of the search box.  Enter March 1 to June 1, 1963.  Click on Search.

 

The Times (London)

The Times (London) Digital Archive (1785-2006)

In the search window enter:  Birmingham Alabama.  Click on the dropdown arrow to the right of the window marked ALL.  Select Between.  Enter March 1 to June 1, 1963.

 

Archive of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change

Click here for the archive.

This remarkable digital archive it contains thousands of documents that tell the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The visual interface for the site is most impressive: visitors can scan through the Spotlights area to look through topical collections that include Significant Cities, Vietnam, and Public Opinion.

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