Original Wraps. Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, 1963. First Edition. Very Good.
Introduction by Colin W. Bell. First edition, first printing with "5-63" to rear cover. Publisher's white wrappers printed in black, featuring jail bars illustration to front cover, stapled binding, 16 pp. including covers. Very good plus, with light rubbing and a few minor creases to covers, a small stain to front cover, bottom corners of the first two leaves creased. Overall, an excellent copy of a scarce pamphlet. In April of 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Birmingham campaign, a series of non-violent sit-ins and marches that protested racial segregation and rampant racism in the American South. Dr. King was arrested with fellow leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and while in jail, a friend smuggled in a newspaper which contained an essay, "A Call for Unity," written by eight white Alabama clergymen, in which they condemned the demonstrations. This work, Letter from a Birmingham City Jail, is King's response to that essay. After composing most of it in the margins of the smuggled newspaper, it was published without King's consent in the New York Post Sunday Magazine. It then appeared in several magazines, including Liberation and The Atlantic Monthly (in the latter under the title "The Negro is Your Brother"). It is published in this pamphlet separately for the first time, and includes the full text of "A Call for Unity." Since, it has been extensively reprinted in civil rights readers and anthologies, and was included in King's 1964 full-length book Why We Can't Wait. Notably, it contains one of King's most popular and enduring quotes, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."