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Sunday Platform – Ethics and the Theater: “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” (Online)
August 30, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Join us for a special Sunday Platform presented by our Ethics and the Theater team. This week we’ll feature a dramatic reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail by actor C.K. Allen, directed by Patricia R. Floyd.
In this open letter written on April 16, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. argues that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. King writes: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” King’s imprisonment was during The Birmingham campaign which included coordinated marches and sit-ins against racism and racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. The nonviolent campaign was coordinated by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) and King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). It began on April 3. On April 10, Circuit Judge W. A. Jenkins Jr. issued a blanket injunction against “parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing, and picketing.” Leaders of the campaign announced they would disobey the ruling. On April 12, King was arrested with SCLC activist Ralph Abernathy, ACMHR, and SCLC official Fred Shuttlesworth. The letter, widely published, became an important text for the American Civil Rights Movement. It’s time to listen to King’s words once more.
Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest. Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day. While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public. Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.
To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.