Jeff Jacoby, the lone conservative at The Boston Globe, has a superb column on Martin Luther King, Jr. with a special focus on his Letter from Birmingham Jail:
We have fallen into the custom of treating this period as blacks’ history month: four weeks set apart – segregated, one might say – for African-Americans to celebrate black heroes and recall black achievements. It has become a kind of calendrical quota – 11 months of “regular” history, one month of black history. The result is pervasive tokenism, with February becoming the month of black-themed lectures, concerts and school assignments.
But as King would have been the first to insist, the history of blacks in America is not some detachable appendix to American history. It is American history. For all its dark and bloody episodes, it is the greatest success story of any black people, ever – an ascent that can be comprehended only in the context of American values and traditions.
It was precisely those values and traditions to which King appealed in “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
“I am in Birmingham,” he wrote, “because injustice is here.”
You can read the rest of Jacoby’s column here.
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